In what came as a grim reminder of destruction of Bamyan Buddha in Afghanistan, a life size ancient statue of Buddha was destroyed soon after it was discovered inside the ground in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan. The statue belonged to the Gandhara civilization.
A video of the incident that went viral shows how a man with a hammer not only vandalized but ensured that entire Buddha statue is broken into pieces in Pakistan. The video went viral on internet and invited much criticism from across the world. People who viewed the video on internet, saw it as a “repeat of Bamyan act by Taliban”.
The statue of Buddha was extracted from Takht Bahi area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan during construction work of a house. There was also a Moulvi present at the location who told one of the workers to destroy the statue else “marriage would become null and void”. Threatened by the Moulvi, the worker immediately hammered the statue in front of the camera.
The Moulvi is said to have told the worker that the statue is ‘unIslamic’ and needs to be broken immediately.
In an interesting turn of even Pakistan has started to boil over the incident and even the Muslim population has criticized the act. Pakistani government has arrested four persons who were involved in the act of destroying an ancient statue even before Archaeological department could reach the spot.
A Pakistani Twitter user Ahsan Hamid Durrani wrote, “Heart breaking. A life sized statue of Buddha was discovered in a construction site in Takhtbhai, Mardan recently. However, before the Archaeology dept was informed about it, the contractor had already broken it into pieces as the local molvi warned him that he would lose..”
Another Twitter user, Arif Ajakia from Pakistan wrote, “During digging, a giant statue of Buddha was discovered in Takhtbhai, Mardaan, KPK, Pakistan. Molbi came and said that break it. If you do not, you will burn in hell. Therefore people found short cut to heavens. Breaking heritage, ashamed of origin. Society of such hypocrites”.
Director of Archaeology and Museums of Khyber region Abdul Samnad said that the area where the statue was found has been located and those who vandalized the statue have been arrested.