taxila - Korean scholar and General Secretary Gandhara Art and Culture Association (GACA), Park kyo Soon has said that association wants to establish ‘cultural highway’ between Pakistan and South Korea to bring the people of both countries closer.

While talking to newspersons here at Taxila Museum yesterday, she said, “In this connection an exhibition would be held in South Korea in September this year as the first leg of the effort to promote Pakistani Gandhara Art and Buddhist heritage in Korea and with enhanced cultural exchanges, we can not only strengthen the cultural ties but can also promote tourism between the two countries since a lot of Koreans would love to come to Pakistan for religious tourism.”

Responding to a question, she said that enhanced cultural exchanges can not only strengthen cultural ties but can also promote tourism between the two countries. She said that ‘Fasting Buddha’ placed in Lahore Museum as well as other Buddha statues at Peshawar Museum and other historic assets belonging to the Buddhist religion have attraction for the Koreans. She said that the statue of Fasting Buddha can become as famous as Monalisa in France which is viewed by more than six million people every year. At the moment there are hardly any foreign tourists coming to Pakistan, therefore, it is important that we go out to promote it. “Gandhara Buddhist heritage is like a Mecca for the Buddhists as Gandharan Buddhism heartland is located in present day Pakistan, but so far we have not done enough to promote and attract the Buddhists to come to Pakistan.” She added that these great cultural assets preserved in the Pakistani museums have a great religious and cultural importance in Buddhism all around the world, especially in Korea. She said that Pakistan is also of great significance to the Korean people, as the land is the birthplace of Buddhism and first Monk Marananatha, the first to bring Buddhism to Korea in 384AD, belonged to Pakistan. Park said that the Korean Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Song Jong Hwan was trying his level best to make this exhibition a great success.