Sunday, PM Imran Khan shared images of a Buddhist temple Takht-i-Bhai, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The images gained mass traction on social media.
Taking to Twitter, he uploaded the images of the historic temples, perhaps in a bid to promote the area.
“The ancient ruins of a Buddhist temple in Takhtbhai, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, part of Pakistan’s rich Gandhara heritage,” the PM tweeted.
The ancient ruins of a Buddhist temple in Takhtbhai, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa — part of Pakistan's rich Gandhara heritage. pic.twitter.com/J23ZZS9Htf
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 26, 2021
As a result, Twitteratis responded with praises for the place as it showcases Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage.
Most importantly, Takht-i-Bhai, also known as the Thrones of Origins, is listed in the World Heritage List. Moreover, architects consider it as the most well-structured Buddhist monasteries in the Gandhara district.
Perched about 500 feet atop a small hill, and famously called the heart of the Gandhara civilization, the temples attract tourists, historians, archaeologists, and Buddhists from across the world. In addition, the site is a symbol of architectural complexity.
KP government committed to preserving historical sites
Earlier this year, former SAPM Zulfiqar Bukhari said the government is improving the infrastructure of religious tourist sites across Pakistan.
He talked to media persons after having an informal discussion with the delegation of Sri Lankan Buddhist monks at Takht-i-Bahi, in KP.
Similarly, the SAPM said the government is developing infrastructure in cooperation with the World Bank under the government’s religious tourism policy.
He said as per the vision of PM Khan, the government is currently working on creating a Holy Buddhist Trail. The trail will include the most revered Buddhist heritage sites in Pakistan.
Attacks on Pakistan’s Buddhist heritage
While PM Khan’s government is committed to preserving such historical sites, many Pakistanis do not share the same sentiments.
Terming Buddhism as “un-Islamic,” locals frequently destroy Buddhist statues. To clarify, back in July, construction workers vandalized an ancient Buddhist statue found in Pakistan’s Takht-i- Bhai area in the Mardan district.
Calling the idol “un-Islamic”, the men smashed the statue into pieces. A video of the incident went viral on social media, showing the construction workers destroying the idol using a sledgehammer and expressing their resentment towards it.
The same ruins which your madarasa chhap countrymen ruined further by destroying Buddha’s statue, cuz it was considered Un-lslamic.., pic.twitter.com/uNtaMLthmC
— INFERNO (@TheAngryLord) September 26, 2021
However, after that, authorities arrested the men involved in the incident.