The vandalisation of the ancient Buddha statue prompted by the Pakistan Army has brought much embarrassment for the Imran Khan-led government.

Four persons have been arrested in country’s northwest Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province for smashing the ancient Buddha statue found during construction work in the Takhtbhai area of Mardan.
The military has actively promoted radicalisation of society in Pakistan to serve its purpose. This has left little space for people of other religion or for people with moderate views in Pakistan.

According to a Dawn report, the viral video showed a man breaking the statue with a sledgehammer, parts of which were still embedded underground even as others can be seen looking on as the statue is being destroyed. Some were seen making videos of the incident.

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Dr Abdul Samad, KP director archaeology and museums, termed the destruction of the statue a “crime” and said “disrespecting any religion is intolerable”. Dawn quoted him as saying that the statue belonged to Gandhara civilisation and was approximately 1700 years old.

Pakistan has shared trouble relationship with minorities, who are subjected to oppression in the country often with the tacit support of the authorities.

Recently construction of a temple in Islamabad was stopped under pressure from Islamists.

The new temple planned for Islamabad, the city’s first, was supposed to be a symbol of tolerance. Instead, violence and controversy have turned it into an emblem of Pakistan’s troubled relationship with its religious minorities.

Several Muslim clerics ruled that no Hindu temple should be built because Pakistan is a Muslim country.

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