War facilitates historic relics smuggling from Ghazni


GHAZNI: Civil society activists in southern Ghazni province have expressed concern over the ongoing war’s detrimental repercussions on historical monuments and relics.

On Sunday, social activist Murtaza Wardak said: “We should all play an equal role in the protection of historical monuments. The war has destroyed all our values, as well as paved the way for the smuggling of our artifacts.”

Writer and journalist Habib-ur-Rehman Taseer says the war has paved the way for arbitrary excavations as many historical sites have been razed to the ground and dug up – effects of continued violence, which is a major factor.

Idris Wafa, director of the information and culture in Ghazni, told OrbandNews that the war had led to, among other problems, the smuggling of artifacts and the wreckage of historical monuments. “We can prevent it, we can enforce the law on usurpers, but war is the main deterrent to our measures.”

Many of Ghazni’s historic sites are now home to military installations, most notably Sardar Hill, where the third Buddha statue is said to be located. 

Ghazni residents say that if the war continues, the rest of our historical monuments will be looted and the responsibility will fall on the insurgents.

This comes as Ghazni was named the Capital of Islamic Civilization in 2013 due to being a rich province in terms of historical monuments, which are illegally being excavated and smuggled.

Many historical artefacts have been and are being trafficked from Ghazni’s Muqur, Waghez, Gero, Andar and some other districts.