Pakistan hopes for Buddhist boost to tourism drought

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by farhan_9909, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Religious violence may be on the rise and the Taliban still a threat, but Pakistan is hoping a rich Buddhist heritage will help it boost international tourism to its troubled northwest.

    Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, with its balmy climate in the mountains and its wealth of history on the border with Afghanistan, was once a playground for colonial adventurers and a favorite holiday destination for upper-crust Pakistanis.

    Yet after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the US ushered in war in Afghanistan and an insurgency against the Pakistani government, it has become synonymous with Pakistani Taliban and other Islamist militants who have killed thousands in recent years.

    Wealthier Pakistanis and Westerners stopped visiting, scared away by attacks and the threat of being kidnapped, but the provincial government is now trying to lure thousands of visitors from wealthy Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea.

    A group of about 20 Buddhist monks from South Korea made the journey to the monastery of Takht-i-Bahi, 170km from Islamabad, and close to the tribal areas that are a haven for Taliban and other Islamist militant groups.

    “We really felt it is our hometown, it was a great feeling which it is not possible to describe in words,” Jeon Woon-deok, a senior South Korean monk, told reporters by e-mail of the visit last year. “We only regret that we waited so long to come here.”

    The journey was no straightforward pilgrimage.

    The monks defied appeals from Seoul to abandon their trip for safety reasons and were guarded by Pakistani security forces on their visit to the monastery, built of ocher colored stone and nestled on a mountainside.

    From about 1000 BC until the seventh century AD, northern Pakistan and parts of modern Afghanistan formed the Gandhara Kingdom, where Greek and Buddhist customs mixed to create what became the Mahayana strand of the religion.

    The monk Marananta set out from what is now northwest Pakistan to cross China and spread Buddhism on the Korean Peninsula during the fourth century.

    The gardens of Takht-i-Bahi host picnicking families and daydreaming teenagers, as well as students from nearby Qoranic schools, but foreign visitors are rare.

    “There used to be foreign tourists here in the past, but after the attacks there are hardly any,” local guide Iftikhar Ali said.

    The flow of adventurous tourists from East Asia is no more than a trickle at the moment — Ali said he sees only one or two visitors a month on average.

    “For them this place is like Mecca,” said Zulfiqar Rahim, the head of the Gandhara Art and Culture Association, which is dedicated to the promotion of Pakistan’s Buddhist heritage.

    Last year, monks from Bhutan also came to visit, but the Pakistani government wants to boost numbers quickly.

    “We are currently working to promote religious and archaeological Buddhist tourism,” Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Deputy Minister of Tourism Syed Jamaluddin Shah said.

    The Pakistani authorities are even planning package tours for visitors from China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, including trips to the Buddhist sites at Takht-i-Bahi, Swat, Peshawar and Taxila, near Islamabad.

    “The tourism potential is enormous. If each person who comes spends US$1,200 with hotel costs and all the rest, and 1 million people come, that makes 1 billion dollars,” Rahim said, “And we’re not talking about 1 million people, but 50 million Mahayana Buddhists in Korea, China and Japan.”


    However, there is a long way to go. It will be difficult to overcome huge security problems, poor tourist infrastructure and the challenges of getting a visa and permission to travel to high-risk areas.

    Enormous floods in 2010 caused further damage, although the US has since provided US$5.4 million to help revive the local economy and rehabilitate tourism in the province’s Swat District.

    For now, it is mostly local visitors who come to the remains of the Buddhist sites in Pakistan. Reflecting on his country’s woes, Sajjad, a teacher gazed at a statue of Buddha and sighed: “We need this calm so much.”

    Pakistan hopes for Buddhist boost to tourism drought - Taipei Times
     
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  3. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    But Farhaan as per your previous post 5000years ago Pakistan was not a already a muslim state?

    Now this is bad ass giving credit to idols... does he want the wrath on clerics to fall on him or what
     
  4. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    buddhism should be decalred official religion of Pakistan alongside ISLAM

    The religion of ancient Pakistan
     
  5. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    How can you be such a flip flopper buddhist are idol worshippers.
     
  6. gokussj9

    gokussj9 Senior Member Senior Member

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    You moron, Hinduism also has been there even before Buddhism.
    Declaring the Dharmic religion as your official ones, is Kuffar.
    And stop with the ancient Pakhana-land stuff.
     
  7. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    No don't abuse farhan its not good Sir.

    Anyways atleast something good from Pakistan let's hope they can shed this fundamentalist mentality and build up a stable state,but alas.
     
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  8. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Some Rakhine Buddhists should visit Pak! :D
     
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  9. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    The reason i didnt said Only buddhism but Islam as well..

    This now has cetainly confirmed that 20-30% of pakistani were not muslims but but buddhist in the past.many indians mistook them for hindus..while the fact is hindu keeping aside very small population were not even allowed in pakistan..or to enter Pakistan..

    Hindus were not allowed in Present Day Pakistan..while the proof is Indus civilization and gandhara..at both of the site you wont be able to find anything tracing back to Hindusim..

    I vote for declaring buddhism as a state religion alongside ISLAM.
     
  10. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    Guys... Farhan is our court jester. He alone is the biggest source of entertainment in DFI.

    Whatever he posts, he only says them to piss off Indians, not because he believes them.

    He is a troll whose only source of entertainment is pin-pricking Indians as instructed by his madrasa.

    The only proper way to deal with such trolls is to completely ignore them and not engage him in any discussion.

    Please do not feed the troll.
     
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  11. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes good then but are you not a kaffir for supporting idol worshipping Buddhists.
     
  12. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    No i am not..unless i am worshipping the idols myself
     
  13. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    to a certain extent i do agee about this
     
  14. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    It would be better Pakistan state declared itself secular and declares that the state respects all religions.
     
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  15. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Except for SWAT valley, and Northen Areas, where else can Budhist go...

    Ordinance factory Taxilla or the atomic center in Taxila... ??
     
  16. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    A country is Islamic only when it is under shariah.while Pakistan is not


    I dont know why they named it islamic when there is nothing islamic in Pakistan except the majority followes of ISLAM


    And please do read about gandhara civilization..oldest in south asia concerning Buddhism.

    indus civilization to some extent as well..i will post about the histoical places associated with Great religions like buddhism later
     
  17. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Senior Member

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    No such thing as Gandhara Civilization... rofl.

    Half my braincells committed suicide. Buddhist IVC :shocked:
     
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  18. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    90% of pakis were hindus, Your DNA is similar to north Indians than arabs,turks or greek.

    You can fool ur self but not science
     
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  19. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    @Blackwater

    OMG..your very funny

    jhoot to banda dang ki bol leta ha.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  20. Illusive

    Illusive Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yeah and the Blasphemy law is just a show piece.
     
  21. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    But there is a contradiction :)

    How can you support idol worshiping by supporting it to become the religion of Pakistan.

    Or is it new ploy to be in good books of Chinese
     

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