Pakistan will participate in the three-day high profile festival of first United Nations Vesak celebrations in Colombo, starting from May 12 to 14 this year.
The arrangements for Pakistan’s participation in the festival were discussed in a meeting held here between National History and Literary Heritage (NHLH) Division Secretary Aamir Hassan and Counsellor and Head of Chancery High Commission of Sri Lanka N.M.M Anas, the other day.
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 rich historical and cultural heritage.
Aamir Hassan informed the counsellor that following the previous tradition, this year 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.
Anas thanked the NHLH secretary for the hospitality extended by the Pakistan side last year and termed Islamabad as a ‘second paradise’.
Aamir Hasan presented a special book on Gandhara civilisation to the Sri Lankan counsellor and hoped the brotherly 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 an exchange of delegations.
During May 19-22, 2016, 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.