It is disturbing that there is no writ of the government in Swat – otherwise a stunningly beautiful valley. Considering that the army is engaged in a battle with the militants in these areas, the Buddhist relics would be least of government’s priorities.

Yet, they are not unimportant. In fact, it is imperative that the government should protect them as a symbol of our rich past and to send a message to the lunatics who pretend that the cause of [their] Islam would be served. Nonsense – in this day and age and in an overwhelmingly Muslim majority area. What threat they pose and whose ‘eemaan’ is endangered?

It is painful to see how a bunch of extremists are pushing us towards that.

A dynamic and enlightened friend suggests that we should write here, here and UNESCO to register our protest. Notwithstanding the limited chances of any action or corrective measures, at least we would have made the effort!

Please also see my earlier plea[s]:

Death of Pakistani Culture, Our endangered heritage, Saving heritageArchitectural neglect