PESHAWAR: Senior Minister for Tourism Muhammad Atif Khan has said that the visit of foreign tourists to Buddhist and historic places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would boost tourism and attract more visitors to the province.
Talking to a 20-member delegation from China on Tuesday here, the senior minister said that government had taken tangible steps for the promotion of tourism and facilitating tourists.
He said that the visit of foreign tourists was meant to highlight the importance of heritage and archaeological sites related to Buddhism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the world besides promoting religious tourism in the province.
A 20-member from China visited the Peshawar Museum and other historic places in the city.
They evinced a keen interest in the findings and discoveries of Buddhism and Buddhist heritage.
Officials of Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) welcomed the Chinese delegation and garlanded the visiting guests.
Curator Muhammad Asif briefed the visiting tourists on the archaeological sites in Peshawar, Buddhism, a gallery of Buddhist statues, antiques and artefacts.
He said there were over 6,000 archaeological and heritage sites in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where research was being carried out to revive these places properly.
“The followers of Buddhism would find a treasure trove of Buddhist statues and heritage after thorough research and revival of these sites,” the official told the delegation.
He said the government had taken a number of steps for attracting foreign tourists, scholars and researchers to the province.
The official said a comprehensive policy had been evolved for preserving and protecting the archaeological sites and places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said that the initiatives were being taken to carry out the excavation on archaeological sites along modern techniques and methods.
The official mentioned about the latest discoveries and the rich Gandhara heritage in various parts of the province.
He said the government was giving top priority to repair, renovation and preservation of archaeological heritage, and historical buildings in the province.
The official said that a plan had been chalked out to protect and preserve all ancient places and buildings in a proper manner.
A woman tourist in the delegation expressed the hope that the visit would provide an opportunity to the visiting members to share their experiences and knowledge among other tourists, archaeologists and researchers, which could be beneficial for people of both the countries.
The delegation also visited historic Masjid-e-Mahabat Khan, Qissa Khwani Bazaar, Sarafa Bazaar (Andar Shehar), Ghanta Ghar, Chowk Yadgar, Islamia College Peshawar and other sites in the city.
The foreign visitors said that Peshawar was a historic and safe city.
They said the people of Peshawar and elsewhere in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were hospitable and friendly.