Pakistani Foreign Minister visits Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka

Daily Times, Nov 30, 2010

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi visited the Sri Dalada Maligawa temple on Monday and said Pakistan takes pride in sharing the Buddhist heritage with Sri Lanka.

At the country’s holiest temple in Kandy city, that enshrines the relics believed to be the Buddha’s actual teeth, Qureshi said his visit was a gesture to promote inter-faith harmony.

Qureshi mentioned that the Gandhara civilisation, which flourished in area that is now Pakistan, spread Buddhism across this region. He said in fact, the remains of the first Buddhist University in the world were discovered in Taxila.

Pakistan on Monday offered specialised training, closer collaboration and sharing of expertise in counter-terrorism, to help Sri Lanka better train its security forces to thwart any future terrorist threat.

“We wish to strengthen our cooperation in ridding our countries of this menace and we can do it by learning from experiences of each other,” Qureshi told reporters at a press conference.