Thursday, November 26, 2009

Taliban suffocate Pakistan-Buddhist heritage

Sajjad Tarakzai (AFP)
TAXILA, Pakistan — Archaeologists warn that the Taliban are destroying Pakistan's ancient Gandhara heritage and rich Buddhist legacy as pilgrimage and foreign research dries up in the country's northwest.

"Militants are the enemies of culture," said Abdul Nasir Khan, curator of Taxila Museum, one of the premier archaeological collections in Pakistan. "It is very clear that if the situation carries on like this, it will destroy our culture and destroy our cultural heritage," he told AFP.

Taxila, a small town around 13 miles (20 km) south of Islamabad, is one of Pakistan's foremost archaeological attractions given its history as a center of Buddhist learning from the 5th century BC to the 2nd century. More>>