MARDAN - All the offenders who were seen smashing an antique Gandharan Buddhist statue in Mardan have been arrested by the police on Saturday, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister for Information Kamran Bangash has said.

In a video that went viral on social media, some unidentified people could be seen smashing the statue that was discovered in Takht Bhai area of Mardan with a sledgehammer.

Taking to Twitter, Kamran Bangash said, “All offenders who were seen smashing an antique Gandharan Buddhist statue in Mardan have been arrested by KP Police.”

He added that a case had been registered against them under relevant sections of the Antiquity Act 2016.

The statute was reportedly discovered during construction activity in the area.

If progressive people remain silent, all hopes of modern Pakistan will be dashed, says Fawad

Taking notice of the incident, the officials of the Tourism Department reported the incident to the police. The police later arrested the culprits.

Commenting on the incident, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said: “If progressive people of Pakistan remain silent observers and neutral, all hopes of progressive and modern Pakistan will be dashed”.

“Social degradation is immense and silence is not an option unless you want this society to be dead as a graveyard.”

According to UNESCO, the Buddhist Ruins of Takhi-i-Bahi (Throne of Origins) are a monastic complex, founded in the early 1st century A.D., is spectacularly positioned on various hilltops ranging from 36.6 metres to 152.4 metres in height, typical for Buddhist sites. The area is frequently visited by tourists from Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Japan.