Pakistan is considering an idea to establish a Buddha University as part of its efforts to increase tourism to historic religious places of the country's minorities, a senior cabinet minister has said.
Addressing a nine-member Buddhist delegation from Thailand visiting Pakistan, Minister of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri on Tuesday said that the university is likely to come up in Peshawar or Swat, cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
"Pakistan government is considering establishing a Buddha University in Peshawar or Swat. A book would be written on historical sites of Buddha. Pakistan would also celebrate Buddha Week," the Urdu Point reported, quoting a press release issued by the government.
The government also said that Thai suggestions for promotion of religious tourism would be welcomed regarding the project.
"The government was working to increase tourism of historic religious places of the minorities," Qadri said in the statement.
He also said the government's recent decision for the opening of Kartarpur corridor for the Sikh pilgrims from India has proved that Pakistan respects minorities.
The agreement with India will allow 5,000 Indian pilgrims daily to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib where Guru Nanak spent last 18 years of his life.
Qadri said the government would ensure comprehensive security of religious tourists.
The delegation also visited archaeological sites in northwest Pakistan, performed their religious rituals and evinced keen interest in artifacts of the Buddha era.
The delegation, which was accompanied by the officials of archaeology and museums department, visited Takht Bhai ruins in Mardan district.
Takht-i-Bahi, commonly mispronounced as Takht-i-Bhai, is an Indo-Parthian archaeological site of an ancient Buddhist monastery.
They were briefed about rich heritage sites of Buddhism situated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
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