Sitting hundreds of miles away from Afghanistan, I’m praying for the protection of my country’s ancient treasures. Words won’t be enough to describe the way I felt when the Bamiyan statues were destroyed by the Taliban. It hurt more because I remember visiting the place as a kid. Now I tell my children about the grandeur of the graceful Buddha statues and how tiny one felt in front of them. I’m still unable to understand how ruthless one has to be to destroy such a magnificent piece of architecture which is also an important historical artifact.
After reading the article ‘Difficult Choice’, I’ve been hoping and silently praying for a miracle that could somehow convince the Afghan authorities that ruining the Mes Aynak site would be a wrong decision of gigantic proportions. Afghanistan is a large country rich with mineral resources. I’m sure when things are better and more stable, we will find many more such places that hide natural wealth inside them. But once digging begins at Mes Aynak for copper reserves, its centuries-old treasure will be destroyed.
No force on earth will be able to bring it back. Why can’t the Afghan authorities understand this simple point? While the need for mining is essential for the Afghan economy, perhaps the government should at least wait for a couple of years till the artifacts that can be saved are preserved by experts. It is hoped that the government will pay heed to this critical matter. The international community also needs to pressurize the Afghan authorities to act sanely and avoid hasty decisions.
Samar Hikmat New Jersey, U.S.