An eight-member delegation from China visited archeological sites in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Peshawar Museum and evinced keen interest in the findings and discoveries of Buddhism and Buddhist heritage.
The delegation, comprising Chinese scholars, professors and researchers from the Peking University, Beijing, National Arts University, Singapore Institute, Ranwan University and Research Centre, China, was accorded welcome by General Manager Tourist Information Centres (TICs) Muhammad Ali Syed, In-charge Musuem Curator Muhammad Asif, Assistant Protocol Officer Chinese Division of Pakistan Foreign Office Muhammad Tariq and other officials.
Curator Asif briefed the visiting scholars, researchers and archaeologists on the archaeological sites in Peshawar, Buddhism, gallery of Buddhist statues, antiques and artifacts. He said that there were over 6,000 archaeological and heritage sites in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where research was being carried out to revive these sites properly.
"The followers of Buddhism would find a treasure trove of Buddhist statues and heritage after thorough research and revival of these sites," the official told the delegation.
GM TICs Muhammad Ali Syed said that the visit of foreign dignitaries was meant to highlight the importance of heritage and archaeological sites related to Buddhism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the world besides promoting religious tourism in the province. He said the government had taken a number of steps for attracting foreign tourists, scholars and researchers to the province.
The official said that a comprehensive policy had been evolved for preserving and protecting the archeological sites and places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He informed that initiatives were being taken to carryout excavation on archeological sites through modern techniques and methods. He also mentioned about the latest discoveries and the rich Gandhara heritage in various parts of the province.
The official said that the government was giving top priority to repair, renovation and preservation of archaeological heritage, and historical buildings in the province. He informed that a plan has been chalked out to protect and preserve all ancient places and building in a proper manner.
He expressed the hope that the visit will provide an opportunity to the visiting members of delegation to share their experiences and acknowledge among archaeologists and researchers, which could be beneficial for excavations on archaeological sites and historic buildings.
The members of delegation said that Peshawar was a historic and safe city. They said the people of Peshawar and elsewhere in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were hospitable and friendly. Earlier, the delegation visited the relics and Buddhist complex of Takht Bhai.