Taliban dynamited Eagle statue in Baghlan
Bamyan Buddha Statues, 55m
The tallest Buddha figure in the world,
55m;180 ft; created in the 3rd century A.D.
(2nd photo)
Fate of Bamiyan Buddha statues hangs in balance

By Behroz Khan
The News International,
6 September 1998

PESHAWAR: The fate of two gigantic Buddha statues in Bamiyan hang in balance following the blasting of the eagle-shaped "Assembly hall" of Ismailis by Taliban in Kayan Valley of Afghanistan.

However, the assurance to protect the historical monuments in case Bamiyan fell to the advancing students militia was given by no less a person than Amir-ul-Mumineen, Mullah Mohamad Omar. Taliban officials defended the blasting of the building owned by the Agha Khanis in Kayan Valley saying "Islam prohibits carving and worship of statues," reported Sahar, a Peshawar-based Afghan news agency and the Taliban-sponsored weekly, Zarb-I-Momin. A large number of rare pieces of sculptures, statues of folk dancers and the calligraphic images in Kabul, Heart and other Afghan cities have so far been destroyed by Taliban since October 1994.

The Karachi-based Zarb-I-Momin also brought out a color page on the Taliban victories in Baghlan province with special reference to the capture of spiritual base of the Ismailis. The head of the community and former general Afghan army, Gen Mansoor Naderi was appointed as 'khalifa" (representative) by the spiritual leader of Ismailis, Prince Noorudddin Agha Khan for his follower in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan.

Mansoor Naderi and his son Jafar Naderi have taken refuge with the Shia faction in Bamiyan province after evicted by Taliban from their safe abode. His family members, Afghan sources said have been shifted to France. Pictures of Ahmad shah Masood's double-storey residence in Taliqan, the provincial capital of Takhar and the beautiful front view of Hizb-I-Wahdat owned center in Pul-I-Khumri have also been published by the weekly.

"The Assembly Hall is not place of worship," argued a Taliban official. A narrow gauge railway track has also been laid down which lead to the "Assembly Hall" on top of a hill. Taliban claimed that Agha Khanis were dreaming of establishing an "Islamic State" in Afghanistan in their leaders were working on the idea since long. It is to be noted that Jaffar Naderi was the governor of Baghlan since Dr Najib's era and commander of the 80th Division of the dismembered Afghan Army.

"The Ismailis were busy offering the special religious services 'Satara' while Taliban stormed their base," wrote the Zarb-i-Momin reports adding that Satara is performed when the community is in trouble. The reports also said that Gen Mansoor Naderi lost his contact with Paris when a Taliban rocket hit his satellite phone system.

Bamyan Buddha Statues were destroyed completely by ignorant Taliban

Taliban dynamited Eagle statue in Baghlan

The Frontier Post, September 6,1998

Peshawar - The hard-line Taliban fighters are reported to have dynamited a statue of an Eagle in Darra-I-Kiyan of Baghlan province in war ravaged Afghanistan on last Thursday.

The Eagle statue was installed in the spiritual center of Islaili sect people in Kiyan which fell to Taliban about a week ago.

Almost two decades back, the statue of Eagle was constructed with a cost of more than 40 million Afghani by the deposed King Zahir Shah government in Kiyan area of Baghlan province.

The Taliban blasted the Eagle symbol with dynamites and bombs because in their opinion the making of statue of any living being falls under idolatry which is repugnant to the basic principles of Islam.

About a week ago the Taliban religious fighters had defeated the Ismaili Militia of General Mansoor Nadri in this area. The General was later fled to Bamyan province where the Iran-backed Shia Hizb-e-Wahdat group is horn-locked with students militia fighters.

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