Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday, 3 June, expressed strong concern over reports of “vandalism, defacement and destruction” of Buddhist heritage in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Anurag Srivastava, MEA spokesperson, while calling it a grave concern also sought access for its experts in the region to preserve its civilizational heritage.
The central government once again asked Islamabad to vacate the illegally-occupied Indian territory after reports appeared of vandalization of the Buddhist rock carvings of 800 CE in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), reports IANS.
The Buddhist symbols, Srivastava said, “are being destroyed and the religious and cultural rights and freedoms are being trampled with impunity in the Indian territories under illegal occupation of Pakistan.”
“Egregious activities of this nature which display contempt for the ancient civilizational and cultural heritage are highly condemnable,” he stated.
The government has sought immediate access for its experts to the area in order to “restore and preserve this invaluable archaeological heritage.”
Srivastava said that the government has conveyed its concern to Pakistan and also called upon the Imran Khan-led government to immediately vacate all illegally occupied territories and end gross violation of political, economic and cultural rights of people living there.
(With inputs from IANS)