Baitullah Mehsud’s Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan has only hatred and disdain for the golden relics of Harappa and Mohenjodaro, the first of the urban civilizations built on syncretic ideas which are anathema to the Kalashnikov-wielding Taliban. Imagine the damage caused in any attack on sites which have only in recent years started yielding pointers to the journey our modern society has traversed. Visualize the Taliban plundering the ancient site of Taxila, a few hours north of Islamabad, not far from where the Pakistan army is now fighting them. The worries aren’t mine alone. Many young men, who make a living by acting as guides to tourists told me during a visit to Taxila two years ago that they are already being frowned upon for talking about Buddhism and Buddhist history. [We need to save history from terrorists too!]
Ranjan Roy writes about terrorism against history in Afghanistan and Pakistan.