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Bamiyan Buddha site in Afghanistan could lose UNESCO heritage tag if Taliban continue digging the site

In their first stint, the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddha statues in 2001, after two decades in their second avtar, last year in August, they promised the world that they had become saviours of Buddhist relics that would bring tourists to Bamiyan.

In their first stint, the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddha statues in 2001, after two decades in their second avtar, last year in August, they promised the world that they had become saviours of Buddhist relics that would bring tourists to Bamiyan.

But now the Taliban have started the massive diggings on the same site where Buddha statues were destroyed by the Taliban.

Quoting the local Taliban administrative sources, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle ( DW) reports that the diggings are taking place in an area where archeologists had suggested that there may be an underground Buddhist temple.

Also Read : Once destroyers of the Bamiyan Buddhas, brazen Taliban now want to protect relics in the province

The report says that digging at the foot of the Grand Buddha was being carried out by Pakistanis who do not understand Pashto or Persian and there are apprehension that “the Taliban will blow up the empty 53-meter Buddha porch again," an official of the Information and Culture Department told DW adding that all the traffic and visits of the tourists are banned.

The Taliban governor Mullah Abdullah Sarhadi confirmed the digging at the site but refused to give any details. Mullah Sarhadi was the head of the Taliban fighters who destroyed both the statues of Buddha in 2001. There are rumours that the Taliban are looking for some precious minerals.

The activists from the Bamiyan and abroad are fearing that Bamiyan could be removed from the UNESCO World Heritage list because the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan have not fulfilled their obligations to the international community to preserve historical and ancient sites. They have appealed to the world to put pressure on the Taliban regime to preserve Afghanistan’s cultural heritages.

“The cultural landscape and the archeological remains of the Buddha, which is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List, are in grave danger. It appears that the Taliban want to blow up the whole mountain. They destroyed the statues in 2001,” says Reza Rahimi, an Afghan activist.

“In his In his last UNGA,  it was decided that the international community will help prevent further damage to Afghanistan’s revered and majestic statues of Buddhas, consistent with the 1954 Hague Convention, which Taliban may violate any moment to destroy the remainder of the statues, while looting any artifacts to be smuggled to Pakistan for illicit sale,” wrote  Ashraf Haidari, the Afghan ambassador to Sri Lanka in his Twitter post.

Last year in November there were reports that the Taliban fighters who were deployed to protect the site, were found using remnants of the Bamiyan Buddhas for target practices.

Watch Video : Taliban Using Remnants Of Bamiyan Buddhas For Target Practice

Also Read :  Taliban militants using Bamiyan Buddhas sites for target practices

When questions were put to the Taliban leaders and the cultural ministry, they said that they would look into the matter and no excavations will be allowed but it has been more than two weeks and diggins are still being carried out.