Local construction workers in Pakistan smashed an ancient statue of Lord Gautama Buddha which is said to be from the ancient Gandhara Civilization, because according to them the statue is ‘unislamic.’
According to a media report, the ancient statue was found buried in the earth while digging the foundation of a house in Pakistan’s Takht Bahi area in the Mardan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, formerly called Gandhara.
This is not the first time an ancient Buddha relic was found in the region. Last time in 2017, two rare statues were discovered in Bhamala in Haripur district. India Today reports, one of the two statues was of dead Buddha, which was the oldest of its kind, and the American Laboratory verified it to be older than the 3rd century BCE.
The local construction workers then vandalized the statue into pieces calling the idol ‘unIslamic.’ A video of the act was captured on camera and has now gone viral. Media reports say the distasteful act was conducted at the orders of a local Maulavi (prayer leader), according to the locals.
According to information, the Buddha statue that was discovered while digging the ground was ‘life-sized,’ and before the archeologists could be summoned nothing left of it; local workers smashed the 1800 years old statue (found after carbon dating) into pieces.
Gandhara, present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan, is said to have attained heights of prosperity under the Buddhist Kushan kings. The place is very much revered by the Buddhists of Japan, Sri Lanka, and other nations for the trajectory of history the area was involved in.
“We have located the area and we will have those involved arrested soon,” said Abdul Samad, director, Archaeology, and Museums in KPK. According to the local media reports, the involved four were arrested.