International Conference on Buddhism concludes in Pakistan

By Sheeraz Aslam, Pakistan Times, April 1, 2007

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Speakers here Saturday said Pakistan is a cradle of Gandhara civilization and Taxila is considered a nucleus of this period and could be a great source of regional cooperation, if properly exploited.

The first two-day international conference titled "Buddhism of Pakistan: a source of regional cooperation" was organized under the auspices of Taxila Institute of Asian Civilizations (TIAC) in collaboration with Ministry of Culture here at Quaid-e-Azam University.

Vice Chancellor of the University, Dr. M. Qasim Jan inaugurated the conference and highlighted its objectives.

Leading historians and experts highlighted the importance of world heritage as Taxila is a ancient Buddhist education center of the world, it was founded in the seventh or sixth century BC.

It was capital of Buddhist kingdom of Gandhara and the city became an important Buddhist center and prospered under King Ashoka.

Taxila remained a center of learning for Gandhara Art of sculpture, architecture and education.

Dr. Sangha Cho, Kingston, Professor from Canada explained the spread of Buddhism to Korea by Gandhara Monk Malananda in 384 A.D.

He explained introduction of Buddhism to Baekje Kingdom (Korea) in the capital Hansan which was well known since the Korea's classic literatures, Samguksagi (1145) and High Monks in Korea (1281) came into being.

The findings were summarized as excavation site of the Buddha statue, Malananda brought to King Chimru, 12 pieces of Sariras, a Buddha's tooth and sutras to King chimryu of Beekje in 384.

Dr. S.R. Dar from Punjab University discussed ways and means to enhance regional cooperation in the light of the subject; Buddhism and Taxila. The conference concluded with useful recommendations of the participants for promotion of regional cooperation for the benefit of the people in the region.