Buddha statue smashed to pieces in Pakistan

A Screengrab from video, which has gone viral on social media, showed locals smashing the Buddha statue

New Delhi (NVI): Reflecting Talibani mentality, extremists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan smashed into pieces a Buddha statue, which was believed to be centuries old and was unearthed during a construction activity.

The incident occurred in Mardan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, according to local media reports.

In a video which recorded the smashing of the statue with a sledge hammer, a Maulvi is heard telling others that the statue must be broken, failing which they would burn in hell.

The area is a tourist destination for people from Sri Lanka, Korea and Japan since it was a part of the Gandhara civilisation, one of the earliest urban settlements documented in the history of the sub-continent, the Express Tribune newspaper of Pakistan reported.

It was excavated in 1836 for the first time. Moreover, archaeologists have excavated hundreds of relics made of clay, stucco and terracotta in the area.

The Mardan district authorities have taken notice of the incident and are looking into the matter, the Express Tribune reported.

Director Archeology Abdul Samad said the area was traced and those involved in vandalism will be held accountable. “We have located the area and we will soon have those involved arrested,” he said.

This is not the first time that such historic treasures and symbols of religions other than Islam have been destroyed or attacked in Pakistan.

Recently, extremists forced halting of construction of a Hindu temple in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. Earlier, some Buddhist artefacts in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir were defaced.

The extremists in Pakistan get encouraged because of the patronage of the government and the all-powerful Pakistan Army and they openly display intolerance towards other religions.

There have been umpteen cases of young girls of Hindus and Christians being abducted and forcibly converted to Islam and coercively married to the abductors, who may even be of the age of the girl’s grandfather.

As a result of this kind of environment, religious minorities in Pakistan live a life of hell.