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» 11/10/2007
PAKISTAN
Another attack on the giant Buddha of Swat
In the valley of Swat, north western Pakistan, Islamic militants have launched a second attack in less than a month on the gigantic sacred statue. The head, shoulders and feet have been destroyed while the militants threaten a third and final attack.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) – A group of Islamic militants have attacked for the second time in less than a month the giant Buddha carved in the rocks of Swat Valley, in north western Pakistan.

Despite the many requests for greater protection, the government has failed to intervene in any way to defend the 40 metre tall statue, the second only in importance to the already destroyed Bamiyan Buddha.

The first attack, due to the extremists inexperience, had not caused irreparable damage, but this second one has destroyed the face, shoulders and feet of the sacred image.  At the moment, the militants threaten a third and final assault.

Vishakha N. Desai,  president of the Asia Society writes: “In 2001, The world watched in horror when Taliban forces destroyed the monumental Buddha statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Political and cultural leaders from around the globe condemned the attacks. And yet in Pakistan the same disaster is repeated unpunished”.

The Swat Valley is considered a sort of  “dam” between the northern reaches of the country, theatre of numerous clashes between pro-tale ban forces and the army.  Currently, thanks to the state of emergency proclaimed by president Musharraf November 3rd last, it has been deprived of protection.


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See also
05/15/2009 PAKISTAN
Swat Valley: Catholics pray for peace as the country faces an exodus of Biblical proportions
by Qaiser Felix
06/10/2009 PAKISTAN
Suicide bomb on Peshawar hotel, 15 dead more than 70 injured
by Qaiser Felix
04/28/2009 PAKISTAN
Boy wounded in Taliban attack near Karachi dies
by Qaiser Felix
04/06/2009 PAKISTAN
Whipping 17-yr girl a “barbaric act”, anger against Taliban mounts
by Qaiser Felix
04/21/2009 PAKISTAN
Archbishop of Lahore: Sharia in the Swat Valley is contrary to Pakistan's founding principles
by Qaiser Felix

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
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by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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