Islamabad: A five-day Gandhara Festival is in full swing at Taxila Museum organised by the Centre for Culture and Development (CCD), featuring exhibitions, panel discussions, and storytelling sessions.
The event was being organised by CCD in collaboration with Punjab Archaeology Department to promote the theme Project of the Punjab Government titled Protection and Promotion of Cultural Heritage of Punjab through Sustainable Tourism and Economic Growth, said a press release issued here.
Speaking on the occasion, Director General DOAM, Punjab said that despite the prominence of Jainism and Buddhism in the ancient history of Pakistan, the demographic shift at the time of independence in 1947 has led to an eclipse of the religious heritage of world communities, which once thrived here in the region, comprising today’s Pakistan.
Ms. Patricia McPhillips, Dr. Nadeem Omar Tarar, the Executive Director of CCD said that for a variety of reasons, the multi-religious heritage of Pakistan, pivotal for the growth of pluralist Pakistani identity has been erased from public memory.
The communities which were custodians of the Jain and Buddhist heritage of Pakistan were oblivious to the importance of the glorious heritage of Pakistan, which needs to be acknowledged and celebrated.
The UNESCO Pakistan is a leading partner of the project and extending expertise and technical support to the Government of Punjab for the protection and promotion of heritage sites of Punjab which have paramount importance for Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sufi Islam.
The title for the exhibition is ‘Roots or Routes: Exploring Pakistan’s Buddhist and Jain Histories’.
The exhibition offering exhibits like posters and pictures of Buddhism and Jainism remains and heritage sites in various regions and provinces of Pakistan is one of the most potent ways of presenting and projecting our heritage not only to our local audiences but to our diplomatic communities and international viewership as well. This heritage and its diverse exhibition to the world would enhance public awareness about the importance of these treasures and a will to protect and promote these treasures for posterity.
The Gandhara Festival would continue till October 9. It offers an opportunity for art, culture, and history lovers to benefit from the work of experts on Gandhara civilization to quench their thirst for knowledge on this subject.