A celebrated businessman in Thailand, Dr. Anil calls himself a “Salesmonk” rather than a salesman and considers it his moral and religious obligation to promote Buddhism and ancient Buddhist cites all over the world. The event was attended by some 100 renowned businessmen from both countries and marked the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Thai King and Queen’s first visit to Pakistan.
An active member of the Pakistan-Thailand Business consortium, Dr. Anil was invited by the Government of Pakistan to visit the Buddhist monasteries and stupas in the country and present to the world the priceless treasure the country holds in her lap.
The accomplished businessman insisted that Pakistan and Thailand are only separated by distance and in reality both countries and their people have been in close contact since antiquity. He highlighted the sights often considered as the seats of learning in Buddhism, the Kambuja and Gandhara which is now known as Taksila.
He out rightly rejected the claim that Buddhism is actually a modernised form of Idol Worshipping.
He said, “Sometimes our Muslim friends have a wrong image. They say we are idol worshippers. It is true that in Thailand, we have more Buddhist images than any other place in the world. But who gave us this culture? The whole idea of icon worship all came from Pakistan. Now they have changed but we have already taken the legacy from them. If you really want to know about the authentic Buddhism, go to Pakistan. We are lucky (these Buddhist spots) are not in Afghanistan. They would be gone. We are indebted to Pakistan for maintaining those places.”
“I am not a salesman but a Salesmonk for Pakistan tourism. As a Salesmonk, this is a place for many Buddhists, art-lovers and lovers of civilization. This is a place where they have kept things at a pristine level. I am worried that if something changes, what will happen. How things have changed in Afghanistan. They destroyed everything and all the antiquities. I don’t want to see that happen in Pakistan.” He added.
Thanking Anil for his remarks, Ambassador Mahmood said that on 10 Oct 2012, the day marking the 60th anniversary of Thai-Pakistan relations, the Pakistan government will be presenting a replica of one of the most famous Buddha images in the Lahore Museum, The Fasting Buddha, to the people of Thailand.
The image will be placed for permanent public display at a yet to be determined spot in Thailand.