Gandhara Research Center opens  to support heritage of Paksitan

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Engr Amir Muqam on the occasion said that Gandhara Cultural Heritage Center at Islamabad was established with the generous technical and financial support of the Government of the Republic of Korea

Mahnoor Ansar

                ISLAMABAD, Advisor to Prime Minister for Political, Public Affairs, National Heritage and Culture Eng. Amir Muqam here Thursday inaugurated the newly established Gandhara Cultural Heritage Research Center at the Department of Archeology and Museums (DOAM).

PM’s aide termed the Gandhara Cultural Heritage Research Center as a great gift from the Korean Government for the cultural heritage of Pakistan while Secretary of National Heritage and Culture Division, Fareena Mazhar, Administrator (Minister) of the Cultural Heritage Administration of Rep. of Korea (CHA) Dr. Choi Eungchon, President of the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation (KCHF) Choi Youngchang, Ambassador of the Korea embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan Suh Sangpyo, Director of the International Cooperation Division, CHA, Jo Dongjoo, Director General of the International Cooperation Department, KCHF, Jeon Bumhwan and Director General, DOAM, Dr. Abdul Azeem were also present on the occasion.

Engr Amir Muqam on the occasion said that Gandhara Cultural Heritage Center at Islamabad was established with the generous technical and financial support of the Government of the Republic of Korea. “It will help to establish a systematic approach for preservation and conservation of the Buddhist Cultural Heritage of Gandhara in particular and the overall cultural heritage of Pakistan in general. Pakistan is a unique country, strategically located giving it a highly important place not only in the past but also in the present era, and will continue to enjoy the same status for all the times to come,” he said.

“Pakistan generally and Gandhara Region of Pakistan particularly is famous for the rich cultural heritage of diversified nature”, he said adding that the richness of Pakistan is not confined to tangible cultural heritage. Its rich traditions, arts and crafts, music, poetry, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual societies, and varying landscapes are indeed treasures that very few countries of the world have ever inherited, all these treasures handed down to us by nature and by successive civilizations.

Adviser to the PM said that he was thankful to the Government of the Republic of Korea for taking keen interest and continuous support for the cultural heritage of Pakistan, adding that especially for the preservation and promotion of the Buddhist Heritage of Gandhara.

He said the role of the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea and Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation in establishing Gandhara Cultural Heritage Research Center and Conservation Laboratory at the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Islamabad is highly commendable.

Engr Amir Muqam said the project for Development of Cultural Promotion and Tourism Resources of Gandhara Heritage of Pakistan will be a landmark in cooperation between Korea and Pakistan and it will open new vistas of cooperation in the fields of cultural heritage. There are potential areas of future cooperation between the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea and Pakistan in the fields of archaeological research, museum management, and conservation of cultural assets. “We believe that in the future the two countries can further collaborate in these areas to promote cultural understanding and cooperation between our nations”, he said.

Korean Ambassador, SUH Sang Pyo said that Pakistan was home to the largest number of Buddhist sites and that the promotion of religious tourism can greatly stabilize the economy of Pakistan. He termed Pakistan as a friendly nation for Korea and said the ancient cultural and religious artifacts in Pakistan were very unique. As per its contract with the Pakistan government, he said, Korea will provide modern equipment for the discovery of precious artifacts and cultural sites in Pakistan.

Administrator (Minister) of Cultural Heritage Administration, Republic of Korea, Dr. CHOI Eungchon said this historic opening day of the Gandhara Cultural Heritage Research Center will add to the year of the celebration of 40 years of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and Korea.

Since 2021, the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration and the Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation have made an effort to protect the great cultural heritage of Pakistan and Gandhara for future generations. “Pakistan and Korea have a deep historic connection for the vast amount of priceless Buddhist heritage of Pakistan”, he added.

Fareena Mazhar said that Gandhara Cultural Heritage Center established at DOAM under five years “official development assistance” project of the cultural heritage administration government of the Republic of Korea, is aimed to cater basic needs of cultural heritage institutions for preservation, research, and capacity building through practical training.

Earlier, Deputy Director General Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation Baek Kyunghwan introduced the Gandhara Cultural Heritage Research Center.