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Taliban defeated by the quiet strength of Pakistan’s Buddha

MINGORA: The Buddha of Swat, carved on a cliff in the seventh century, was dynamited by the Pakistani Taliban in 2007. Now it has been restored, a powerful symbol of tolerance in the Pakistani valley. The holy figure, depicted in a lotus position at the base of a granite cliff in northern Pakistan, was severely damaged by insurgents in an echo of the Afghan Taliban's complete destruction of its more imposing counterparts at Bamiyan in 2001. For some, it was a wanton act of vandalism that struck at the heart of the…

Pakistan unveils 1,700-year-old sleeping Buddha, evoking diverse heritage

HARIPUR: Pakistan unveiled the remains of a 1,700-year-old sleeping Buddha image on Wednesday, part of an initiative to encourage tourism and project religious harmony in a region roiled by Islamist militancy. A reflection of the diverse history and culture of the South Asian country, the ancient Buddhist site in Bhamala province was first discovered in 1929. Eighty-eight years on, excavations resumed and the 14-metre-(48-foot)-high Kanjur stone Buddha image was unearthed, and opposition leader Imran Kahn presided over…