Tuesday April 23, 2024

Thai chief monk praises Pakistan for religious freedom

By Ashrafuddin Pirzada
September 28, 2022

LANDIKOTAL: Chief monk of Thailand and his disciples on Tuesday visited Shapola stupa and performed their religious rituals here, officials said.

Landikotal Tehsildar Dawood Afridi, who was the chief security officer during the most venerable Thailand Chief Monk visit, said that Thailand Chief Monk MV Arayawangso and his team had come to Pakistan for an in-depth study of the Buddhist archaeological site stupa in Sultankhel area in Landikotal.

He said the Buddhist monk and his followers performed their religious rituals at the stupa site.

Talking to reporters, the Thailand chief said that he was happy to visit the Buddhist site in Landikotal for the second time.

He said that a few months ago he had visited the stupa and talked to people and officials here about its preservation.

“I am so happy and thankful to Pakistan and its citizens for their warm welcome. It is an honour for us to have religious freedom here in Pakistan,” Monk Arayawangso remarked. He added that he and his team wanted to carry out an in-depth study of the site for the revival and preservation of the stupa.

The chief monk said that taking care of religious and historical sites by the government would boost international tourism in Pakistan. Landikotal Assistant Commissioner Irshad Khan Mohmand also accompanied the Thai delegation.

Later, the Thai Buddhist monk along with his 20 disciples visited the Sahibzada Abdul Qayum Museum, University of Peshawar.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Idrees accompanied by Dr Nida Ullah Sehrai, Dr Hussain Shaheed welcomed the monk and others. The monk also presented a traditional Thai souvenir to the Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Idrees.

Arayawangso expressed his interest in Gandhara and various relics of Buddhist civilisation kept at the museum.