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    Is Pakistan responsible for destruction of Buddhas ?

    http://atimes.com/ind-pak/CC22Df01.html

    Pakistan

    THE ROVING EYE
    How a thief saved the Buddhas from Taliban

    Story: Pepe Escobar
    Pictures: Jason Florio
    Picture 1: The shack that houses the Bamiyan collection

    Picture 2: Saved sculpture

    Picture 3: Saved sculpture

    Picture 4: Part of a frieze
    "Oh, I have Buddhas from Bamiyan."

    The news - as cool, calm and collected as a Taliban rocket launch - took a while to sink in. The Cousin of the Mine King of Baluchistan was still smiling. I had just crossed Afghanistan overland from east to west, from the Pakistan border at Landi Kotal to the Iranian border at Islam Qillah. With my photographer, we were the first Western journalists to undertake this gruelling marathon in quite a while - as NGO workers in Afghanistan themselves acknowledged.

    We had been in Quetta, frontier capital of the Pakistani side of Baluchistan, for only a few hours. In Afghanistan, we had been arrested (twice), menaced with a trial by a military court, accused of being "UN spies". We were exhausted, and as far as Bamiyan was concerned, frustrated. Taliban officials in Kabul had denied us a visa to visit Bamiyan, allegedly for "security reasons". I live in Buddhist Thailand. Apart from trying to understand what makes a madrassa* worldview tick at the beginning of the third millennium, I had always longed to see the Bamiyan Buddhas.

    But we never made it to Bamiyan. Instead, Bamiyan came to us.

    At the Quetta Serena Hotel - a plush compound straight from Santa Fe, New Mexico - the Cousin of the Mine King showed up in style: chauffeur-driven in a Toyota Hi-Lux. This could only foment our paranoia: Toyotas Hi-Lux constitute the entire Taliban motorized force, and when we were arrested by the religious police in Kabul stadium in the middle of a soccer match for (not) taking photos, we were taken to interrogation in the back seat of a Toyota Hi-Lux. But the Cousin of the Mine King had other plans.

    "Let's go meet some nomads."

    A few hours later, we are in a tent sipping tea with a family of Baluchistan borderland nomads. Compared to the destitute Ghazni nomads we had seen in Afghanistan, fleeing from the worst drought in the last 30 years, these ones are positively deluxe. The head of the family promptly says he is about to offer 300,000 rupees (US$5,046) as downpayment for a brand new Hi-Lux. He also tries to sell us a falcon: customers from the Arab Emirates are supposed to buy them for as much as 1 million rupees.

    The head nomad reveals himself to be an Afghan trader in the Punjab. His take on Afghanistan is extremely self-assured: the Taliban are falling apart, and the country has now split into three factions. All of them are responsible for the widespread destruction.

    Back in Quetta, after the nomad warm-up, we are taken through a mud-brick labyrinth to a house in the middle of a desert wasteland. Kids swarm in the dusty "streets". One of them disappears inside a shack and emerges with a statue. And another. And then another. We are now contemplating the private collection of the Cousin of the Mine King. It features astonishing Greco-Buddhist boddhisattvas**, Hellenic arhats*** with their ribs protruding, and even part of a frieze. Some could be 3rd or 4th Century, some even older. They are all pre-Bamiyan Buddhas.

    The Cousin of the Mine King is naturally evasive. He would love to sell his collection to a Western museum - but can't get it out of the country. The Guimet Museum of Asian Arts in Paris, recently reopened after lavish restoration work worth $50 million, would kill for this "private collection". He "obtained most of the statues from the Bamiyan valley". Some of them "came from the Kabul museum". The methods were effective: "We just went there and took them."

    With the boddhisattvas still on our minds, the Cousin of the Mine King takes us to meet the Great Man himself. We are ushered into his living room, decorated with a silk qom almost the size of a tennis court and worth the GDP of whole Afghan provinces. The Mine King is a Baluchi from the borderlands - a member of the Sanjirani tribe. He controls coal, onyx, marble and granite mines. And he gets straight to the point.

    "Afghanistan is a tribal society. We should leave it like that." For him, the only solution for the country would be the return of King Zahir Shah: "But that was already proposed in the early '90s. Now it's too late." The Mine King regards the Taliban as "very nice people". But he worries about the future, considering the vast amount of weapons in the country: "If there is a total collapse in Afghanistan, the ashes will be coming straight to Pakistan."

    The Mine King waves us goodbye, dreaming of enjoying New York City nightlife. That was a few months ago. Today, somewhere in the wasteland outskirts of Quetta, a few Afghan Buddhas are still sleeping half-buried in the sand. They escaped the fate of the Bamiyan Buddhas, bombed to ashes by the Taliban. But as the Mine King himself remarked, these ashes, brought by the winds, headed straight into Pakistan.
    ================================================== ==========================
    According to Kacem Fazelly, an ex-professor of Law at Kabul University, "the destruction of the statues is also a consequence of a strategic manipulation. The Pakistani military want to get rid of Afghanistan's cultural, historic, and above all Persian past. They want to get rid of its cultural mix so there is no more national Afghan thinking, nor resistance toward a Pakistani takeover of the country."

    ================================================== =======================================
    A new geopolitical Great Game is in play in Central Asia. The Taliban are just some of the minor players. They can obliterate Buddhist art that predates Islam itself. But Buddhism teaches us that everything is impermanent. Impermanence: a few months ago the Cousin of the Mine King would have been accused of being a thief; now, he can be seen as a man who saved a significant part of the world's heritage from the Taliban's orgy of destruction. And more impermanence: considering Central Asian volatility, the bombers themselves, sooner or later, could be reduced to ashes in the new Great Game.

    *Madrassa: an Islamic religious school.
    **Boddhisattva: One who delays final enlightenment and attainment of Nirvana in order to pass his wisdom on to others. A fully compassionate being.
    ***Arhat: One who has attained Nirvana.



    #2
    Again, an absolutely stupid and irresponsible title for this article. The piece itself is about some statues being smuggled abroad, and then there is an unrelated opinion tacked on of some ex-professor of Law at Kabul University - who for all we know, could be a communist.

    Is there any proof that Pakistan caused the destruction of these statues, or even any suggestion that it is the case from any neutral source?

    Still, if it makes you Indians feel better about yourselves then I guess you are free to speculate

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Mr Xtreme:
      Again, an absolutely stupid and irresponsible title for this article. The piece itself is about some statues being smuggled abroad, and then there is an unrelated opinion tacked on of some ex-professor of Law at Kabul University - who for all we know, could be a communist.

      Is there any proof that Pakistan caused the destruction of these statues, or even any suggestion that it is the case from any neutral source?

      Still, if it makes you Indians feel better about yourselves then I guess you are free to speculate

      Xtreme ,

      A hindu commenteter writes a response to the same article the following & i quote

      http://www.sulekha.com/hoppercomments.asp#108135

      "If Pakistan doesnt have 100% of Afghanis Concensensus ,does it
      matte?/Even in legitimate Indian democracy you can impose on by being
      less than50% hindutva hindu.Look into your own soul,tell me why BJP
      should cling to power with dwindling popularity,unacceptable communal
      agendas ,which MOST hindu consider not there goal/.
      Post Your Response ~  Read All Comments ~  Coffeehouse

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Mar 21  JJ Comments on How a thief saved Bamiyan Buddhas (Asia Times
      Online)
      According to Kacem Fazelly, an ex-professor of La"""

      ------------------


      barque(bijli) yoon akadti hai apne karname pe ke
      jaise phir naya hum aashiyaan bana nahi sakte

      Comment


        #4
        indians love to follow Talebans....
        Code:
        <#INCLUDE stdio.h>
        /* find out how indians react */
        main()
        ver int Taleban, int Indians
        if {
            (Taleban_destroy_idols=1) then     
            indians_will_burn_quran=1) }
        else {
            (destroy_mosques=1)
        }result
        while (result=1)
         india != equal_to_democracy
        }
        /* or in other words */
        else {
         democracy_in_india = 0
        }
        /* or in other words */
        else {
         indian_democracy = hypocrisy
        }
        printf(stdout, "Shame on you indians !", result, d)
        /* EOF */
        While, Pakistan was trying it's best to tell
        Talebans not to destroy their historic
        heritage, indians were trying to copy them
        in almost the same way by burning our Holy
        Quran?? Did somebody burn Geeta etc in
        Pakistan in response--- NO. The reason is
        nothing but tolerance that islam teaches us.
        To me, indians are even more illeterate then
        somalians.. After all they were the first one
        in the region to destroy religious places..

        [This message has been edited by PureLand (edited March 21, 2001).]
        There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the end the sword will always be conquered by the spirit. --Napoleon Bonaparte

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by PureLand:
          indians ve to follow Talebans. here is an example for people who have little know how
          about computer languages....

          Code:
          <#INCLUDE stdio.h>
          /* find out how indians react */
          main()
          ver int Taleban, int Indians
          if {
              (Taleban_destroy_idols=1) then     
              indians_will_burn_quran=1) }
          else {
              (destroy_mosques=1)
          }result
          while (result=1)
           india != equal_to_democracy
          }
          /* or in other words */
          else {
           democracy_in_india = 0
          }
          /* or in other words */
          else {
           indian_democracy = hypocrisy
          }
          printf(stdout, "Shame on you indians !", result, d)
          /* EOF */
          While, Pakistan was trying it's best to tell
          Talebans not to distroy their historic
          heritage, indians were trying to copy them
          in almost the same way by burning our Holy
          Quran?? Did somebody burn Geeta etc in
          Pakistan in response--- NO. The reason is
          nothing but tolerance that islam teaches us.
          To me, indians are even more illeterate then
          somalians.. After all they were the first one
          in the region to distroy religious places..

          [This message has been edited by PureLand (edited March 21, 2001).]
          No geeta is left in Pakistan

          Comment


            #6
            dis-infoman

            that was typical indian style..

            there are still millions of Hindus and other
            minorities in Pakistan .. Living peacefully..
            unlike indian muslims or christians...
            get your info right bro

            [This message has been edited by PureLand (edited March 21, 2001).]
            There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the end the sword will always be conquered by the spirit. --Napoleon Bonaparte

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by PureLand:
              dis-infoman

              that was typical indian style..

              there are still millions of Hindus and other
              minorities in Pakistan .. Living peacefully..
              unlike indian muslims or christians...
              get your info right bro

              [This message has been edited by PureLand (edited March 21, 2001).]
              Codeboy:

              I am happy that the minorities in Pakistan are living peacefully, but how about the majority?? Sindh is burning.....Quetta is lawless , while Lahore and even Islamabad have weekly bomb blasts. Go back to writing code, kid.

              Comment


                #8
                dis-infoman, (Codenamed: Big Daddy)
                Is india very peaceful ?.. I think you just
                worry about your india. Pakistan's bomb blast are the result of a terrorist org. called RAW.. Ever heard of it????...
                I know your side of kashmir is very peaceful, ours is in terrible shape.. Bihar is most secure place for christians while ayodhiya and mirath are best places for muslims to be in...DO you really want the whole list about the most peaceful regions of rich india???
                There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the end the sword will always be conquered by the spirit. --Napoleon Bonaparte

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by PureLand:
                  dis-infoman, (Codenamed: Big Daddy)
                  Is india very peaceful ?.. I think you just
                  worry about your india. Pakistan's bomb blast are the result of a terrorist org. called RAW.. Ever heard of it????...
                  I know your side of kashmir is very peaceful, ours is in terrible shape.. Bihar is most secure place for christians while ayodhiya and mirath are best places for muslims to be in...DO you really want the whole list about the most peaceful regions of rich india???

                  That was exactly my point codeboy.....you mentioned minorities in India and I replied with the same unrest in Pakistan. The problems are the same.

                  RAW.....Jesus Christ!!! I am sure next time your Happy Meal doesn't have the surprise toy ....RAW would be blamed

                  Comment


                    #10
                    >>>>RAW.....Jesus Christ!!! I am sure next time your Happy Meal doesn't have the surprise toy ....RAW would be blamed<<<

                    why not? stealing comes second nature to crooks.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by mundyaa:
                      >>>>RAW.....Jesus Christ!!! I am sure next time your Happy Meal doesn't have the surprise toy ....RAW would be blamed<<<

                      why not? stealing comes second nature to crooks.
                      No wonder Nawaz was fat....too many pork chops!!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        >>>No wonder Nawaz was fat....too many pork chops!!<<<<

                        maybe. but as long as we got rid of him. last time i checked hindutva crooks were still in power.

                        btw: how did u like the stats?

                        Comment

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