Karachi: Police took over a number of artefacts and relics of Gandhara Civilization

- Pakistani

Gandhara is the region that now comprise of Peshawar valley, Mardan, Swat, Dir, Malakand, and Bajuaur agencies in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Taxila in the Punjab. Buddhist Kushan kings are the most notables of the rulers in Gandhara civilization.

According to the Antiquities Act of 1975, artefacts are protected with a great care and there are restrictions and punishments of heavy fine and imprisonment to comprehending or taking away them.

Some people took some of the things of great treasure of gandhara civilization including statues of Gautama Buddha, life-sized idols, plaques and utensils etc. These artefacts and relics were kept in a godown in Ibrahim Haidery, a village near Karachi and from there these were being transported to Sialkot by truck. The police grasped the truck and arrested the people.

They dropped off the artefacts and relics and kept them in Awami Colony police station. While dropping these objects on the ground many of them were damaged.

According to Mr Qasim, the Culture Department director, one of the statues was a Boddhisattva (Buddha before achieving Nirvana). Among others was a “Hariti” (a witch who, as the legend goes, used to kill children, but after meeting Gautama Buddha repented and was transformed into a protector of children); and a “Jataka” — a stone panel depicting the scene at the time of Buddha’s birth.

It is the duty of the Pakistani officials to take great care of this treasure. The thieves should be punished strictly that no one else could dare to commit this crime again. If serious action would not be taken Pakistanis treasure would be sold to other nations. The thieves would get money but Pakistan will deprive from the priceless treasure.