Bhutanese PM visits historic Taxila Museum, Julian site

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister of Bhutan Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley and his delegation on Sunday visited the historic Taxila Museum and Julian—a mixture of east and west and a great place of Gandhara civilization.The Bhutanese Prime Minister and his delegation were briefed about the history of Gandhara Civilization, various stupas, statues and other artifacts in the museum.The Bhutanese Prime Minister lauded the Pakistan government for preserving sites related to Buddhism and maintaining Taxila as one of the prominent places for  Buddhists.Recording his comments in the visitors book, he wrote that the Gandhara civilization, one of the oldest civilizations of the world would promote religious tourism from Bhutan and other Buddhist regions.

The Bhutanese Prime Minister was told that Pakistan is the land which attracted Alexander the Great from Macedonia in 326 B.C., with whom the influence of Greek culture came to this part of the world.The delegation was briefed that the Greek and Persians ruled here for more than 2000 years. During the 2nd century B.C., it was here that Buddhism was adopted as the state religion which flourished and prevailed here for over 1000 years, starting from 2nd century B.C. until 10th century A.D. During this time Taxila, Swat and Charsaddah (old Pushkalavati) became three important centres for culture, trade and learning.They were told that hundreds of monasteries and stupas were built together with Greek and Kushan towns such as Sirkap and Sirsukh, both in Taxila. It was from these centres that a unique art of sculpture originated which is known as Gandhara Art all over the world.

Today the Gandhara Sculptures occupy a prominent place in the museums of England, France, Germany, USA, Japan, Korea, China, India and Afghanistan together with many private collections world over, as well as in the museums of Pakistan. Nevertheless, the zenith of this Gandhara Art is one and only “Fasting Buddha” now on display in Lahore Museum, Lahore.The Bhutanese delegation included Minister for Economic Affairs of Bhutan Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk, Secretaries Cabinet and Foreign Affairs and Ambassador of Bhutan to Pakistan DashoBap Kesang.Minister in-waiting, Dr Arbab Mohammad Alamgir Khan and senior officials accompanied the visiting dignitary – APP