BAMYAN (SW) – Hundreds of Bamyan residents have marked the anniversary of the tragic destruction of Buddha statues in the province by the Taliban 19 years ago.
Condemning the incident, the protesters called for prosecution of the perpetrators behind the destruction of the tall statues carved inside mountains here.
They demanded the Taliban should be made to pay for the losses the insurgents inflicted upon this and other heritage sites in the country. At the end of demonstration, they issued a statement urging the government to take effective steps in protecting the heritage sites.
The Bamyan civil society members also launched a social media campaign under the slogan: “We would not forgive the Taliban”. In connection with the peace process, the Bamyan civil society members demanded the UNESCO should demand guarantees from the Taliban that they would not harm heritage sites in the future.
Speaking on the occasion, governor of Bamyan, Mohammad Tahir Zuheer, assured that the government would not compromise on ensuring safety of heritage sites.
The Buddhas of Bamyan were two 6th-century monumental statues of Gautama Buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley. The statues were blown up and destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban, on orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar.