ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday expressed the resolve to promote inter-faith harmony and respect for all religions to make Pakistan a revered destination for the followers of Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism.

Talking to a Korean delegation led by President of Jogye Order Wonhaeng, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan is proud of its Buddhist heritage and his government is focused on promoting tourism, especially, religious tourism.

He said that both Pakistan and Korea must enhance collaboration in conservation and promotion of historical Buddhist sites. Imran Khan said that visit of Buddhist delegation from South Korea would convey the common message of peace, harmony and understanding among all religions.

He said that Pakistan has recently opened Kartarpur Corridor for Sikh pilgrims on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.

Korean delegation led by President of Jogye Order Wonhaeng calls on President, PM

The Most Venerable Won Haeng appreciated the efforts of Pakistan for preservation of Buddhist heritage. He thanked the Prime Minister for “promoting world peace and inter-faith harmony.”

Earlier, the Buddhist delegation also called on the President Dr. Arif Alvi. The President highlighted that Pakistan was a cradle of many civilizations and the Government was committed to promote tourism, especially, religious tourism, in which Buddhism had niche due to presence of a lot of Buddhist historic sites in Pakistan.

The visit of Buddhist delegation from South Korea would convey common message of peace, harmony and understanding among all religions, he added.

The President expressed hope that the visit would promote people to people contacts by highlighting the historic culture and religious linkages between our two countries. He said that Pakistan and Korea cultural and religious linkages went back to the Buddhist Gandhara civilization, to as early as the 4th century AD.

FM MEETS WONHAENG

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also received the delegation of the Most Venerable Wonhaeng, President of Jogye Order, the biggest denomination of Buddhism in Korea.

Welcoming the visit of the Most Venerable Wonhaeng, the Foreign Minister stated that the visit would help promote people to people contacts and cultural exchanges between the two countries. He emphasized collaboration in conservation and promotion of historical Buddhist sites of Pakistan. He underscored that Pakistan is proud of its Buddhist heritage which has been carefully preserved as the shared heritage of mankind.

The Foreign Minister briefed the delegation on Pakistan’s initiative of opening Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. He underscored that Pakistan has taken this step to meet the longstanding request of Sikh community across the world, particularly from India, which is in line with Islamic principles.

The Foreign Minister highlighted the government’s policy of promoting religious tourism including Buddhist tourism in Pakistan which was in consonance with the Islam message of peace, harmony and understanding among all religions.

The Most Venerable Wonhaeng highlighted the Republic of Korea’s cultural and religious linkages with Pakistan which go back to the Buddhist Gandhara civilization. He also expressed the desire to establish a Buddhist Cultural and Korean Language Centre in Pakistan.

The delegation is on an eight day visit from 16 to 24 November 2019. Earlier, they also visited Lahore and Gilgit-Baltistan. The delegation will also call on President, Prime Minister and Minister of Religious Affairs today. They will continue their journey to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and visit historic sites in Taxila, Swat, Mardan and Peshawar before leaving back for South Korea on 24th November 2019.