Buddhist relics worth millions seized in Pakistan

Published Jul 07, 2012 07:23am

A man arranges seized ancient statues in a police station in Karachi.—AFP Photo
A man arranges seized ancient statues in a police station in Karachi.—AFP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani officials say police have seized a large number of ancient Buddhist sculptures that smugglers were attempting to spirit out of the country.

Salimul Haq, who is a director of the government's archaeology department, said Saturday that the artefacts likely would have fetched millions of dollars on the international antiquities market.

Police seized the relics Friday from a 20-foot container in the southern port city of Karachi that was being trucked north toward the capital, Islamabad.

The load included many sculptures of Buddha and other related religious figures that experts indicated could be over 2,000 years old.

The country's northwest was once part of Gandhara, an ancient Buddhist kingdom that stretched across modern-day Pakistan and Afghanistan and reached its height from the first to the fifth century.

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Comments (3) (Closed)


you
Jul 07, 2012 12:23pm
oh ,no its ancient treasure belongs to Pakistan ,,,severe punishment for those who smuggled this treasure not only Pakistan all over the world secretly stole these ancient treasure for many many purposes better not to discuss it on internet,,,butt mostly the neighbouring countries keeping an eye on Pakistani treasures,,,all of it.
Ashok Kotha
Jul 07, 2012 01:38pm
Gandhara area finds mention in great MAHABHARATA
pankajdehlavi
Jul 08, 2012 06:02am
What will Pakistan do of this treasure who seems to be apologetic of his great buddhist past . One day fundamentalists will destroy such a great relics just as they did in Bamiyan. Better you hand them over to people who can keep them safe.