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Five-day 'Gandhara Festival' concludes

ISLAMABAD: A five-day Gandhara Festival concluded Sunday at Taxila Museum, featuring exhibitions, panel discussions and storytelling sessions. The five-day festival was attended by senior government officials, diplomats, students, Buddhist community and researchers, said a press release issued here.

Parliamentary Secretary National History and Literary Heritage Ghazala Saifi, Secretary Tourism Punjab Capt Mushtaq Ahmad Khan (Retd) also participated in five-day festival.

IWASAKI Ryuji, Consular/Head of Public Affairs section Punjab Embassy also, visited Museum and Archaeological sites in Taxila during the Gandhara Festival. He admired the rich cultural heritage of its ancient Gandhara civilization in Taxila, which is an attraction for the tourists as well. He also praised this Festival as a steady approach to enlighten the importance of cultural heritage in Pakistan.

He said that Government of Japan always recognizes the importance of cultural heritage, attaches great value to its preservation and continues to support Pakistan in this area, adding that Government of Japan is coordinating with Pakistan Government for the provision of cultural grant assistance for the improvement of equipment for exhibition and conservation at the Taxila Museum which stores the rich cultural heritage of ancient Gandhara civilization. The family of Sri Lankan High Commissioner also attended the festival and appreciated the specimens of living traditions of Gandhara arts and crafts as well as displays of the objects and sites of Gandhara heritage.

The students and faculty from universities in Lahore and Gujranwala, including Government College University and Gift University respectively, visited the Gandhara Festival at the Taxila Museum as well as archaeological sites of Mohra Muradu, Taxila. Malick Ushter conducted guided tours of heritage sites while Sajjad Ali conducted story telling sessions.

At the end of the day, a musical performance was held by Shahid Suleman, who enthralled the family audiences with his magical voice. The Gandhara Festival concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr Nadeem Omar Tarar, Executive Director CCD for the Planning and Development Board Tourism Department, Govt of Punjab, Punjab Tourism Economy Growth Project (PTEGP), World Bank, UNESCO, and Directorate of Archaeology and Museum.

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