wah cantt - A candlelight vigil was held at the ancient Buddhist site of Dharmarjika Stupa near Taxila yesterday to express sympathies with the families of victims of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Paris.

In the space of a few minutes on Friday night, Paris was rocked by six deadly assaults. This account pieces together the sequence of events that left 129 people dead and hundreds injured, in the worst violence witnessed on French soil since the Second World War.

Some 352 people were injured, 99 critically, in the attack on Friday night which left 129 dead. Victims have been identified from 15 different countries.

People from different walks of life including representatives of different NGOs, students, politicians, journalists and social workers joined the global outcry and organised a candlelight vigil to condemn the deadliest terrorist attack in Paris.

The candlelight was organised by an NGO, The Voice, at the Buddhist site dated back to 3rd century BC from where revival of the Buddha’s message of peace and tolerance was flourished around the world in the 5th Century AD.

Asim Meer, president of the NGO, said this is the place where revival of Buddhism was initiated by Ashoka the Great.

He said: “We offer our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the nation of France, its people and its government after this heinous terrorist attack. Any form of extremism or terrorism is against the teachings of Islam.” He said the site was selected for the offering candle and prays because Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty has selected this place for revival of peace and tolerance and other reason was that the victims also included Buddhists.

The Stupa was a source of inspiration and a place of attraction from the beginning of the Buddhist religion and was later reconstructed during the time of King Kanishka in the 5th Century AD.

The Dharmarajika Stupa and monastery were probably the earliest in Pakistan. Ashoka founded the Dharma Dharmarajika Stupa near Taxila and the Chinese pilgrim Huein Tsang mentions about 1000 monasteries in Gandhara alone.

Rasheed Mughal, President Mushall Foundation, Munaza Peerzada, Chairperson Knocking Angles, and Dr Saeed Ahmed, President Human and Environment Development Association (HEDA), also spoke on this occasion and condemned the terrorist attacks in France.