A large Buddhist settlement in Pakistan could disappear due to lack of state care and criminal gangs.
This film explores Kanderai Buddhist settlement in the Swat Valley, which is at risk of disappearing. According to archaeological experts, Kanderai has the potential to reveal Swat’s ancient association with Buddhism and great eras such as the reign of Emperor Asoka 304–232 BC. But none of this can take place without legal protection.
“Kanderai is probably the largest Buddhist settlement in the Swat Valley circa third and fourth century BC. It is a very large and important ruin, which covers more than three hectares and looks very much like the Takht Bhai” explained Dr Luca Maria Olivieri, the Director of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Swat. The site should be notified and legally protected by the government, maintained Dr Olivieri.
Whilst Pakistan has many ancient heritage sites of huge importance spanning Indus, Buddhist and Moghul periods, increasingly they are under threat. From organised theft by powerful criminal gangs often with political patronage, as well as a culture amongst some political leaders, of not respecting a pluralistic history of the many civilisations that have been in the region. For more information on these issues please visit the website of Heritage Foundation of Pakistan.
Film courtesy of Tribune Express Pakistan
Reporter and Producer: Fazal Khalique