Islamabad-Pakistan is going to participate in a three-day ‘Vesak’ festival in Colombo where it will display Buddhist and Gandhara heritage relics, official said on Wednesday.

First United Nations (UN) Vesak celebrations are being held in Srilanka, Colombo, which will continue from May 12 to 14 this year.

The arrangements for Pakistan’s participation in the festival were discussed in a meeting held between Federal Secretary for National History and Literary Heritage (NH&LH) Division, Engineer Aamir Hasan and Counsellor and Head of Chancery High Commission of Sri Lanka, N M M Anas.

It was decided in the meeting that a delegation from Pakistan will participate in the festival and display Buddhist and Gandhara heritage relics through a stall to represent country’s historical and cultural heritage.

Secretary NH&LH informed the counsellor that following the previous tradition, this year also Pakistan will invite a Sri Lankan delegation to participate in the Vesak festival to be held in Pakistan in the last week of May.

The festival will be held at a special UN Vesak Zone around Sri Lankan Parliament building.

Counsellor High Commission of Sri Lanka thanked the Secretary NHLH Division, Amir Hasan for the hospitality extended by the Pakistan side last year and termed Islamabad city as a `second paradise’.

Aamir Hasan presented a special book on ‘Gandhara Civilization’ to the Sri Lankan Counsellor and hoped the relations between the two countries will be further strengthened in the future.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan and Sri Lanka signed an agreement last year regarding participation in such festivals through exchange of delegations.

During May, a three-member delegation from Pakistan participated in an exhibition of Gandhara Art of Pakistan in Sri Lanka displaying three relics including Buddha’s tooth, Gold Casket and Stone Casket.

Subsequently, a delegation of around 40 members comprising Sri Lankan ministers, Buddhists, priests, pilgrims and media persons visited Pakistan from May 29 to June 1 to participate in the Vesak festival held at Taxila.