Pakistan has unveiled the remains of a 1,700-year-old sleeping Buddha as 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 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was first discovered in 1929. Eighty-eight years on, excavations resumed and the 14-metre-high (48-ft-high) Kanjur stone Buddha image was unearthed. The country’s opposition leader, Imran Khan, presided over Wednesday’s presentation.
“This is from the 3rd century AD, making it the world’s oldest sleeping Buddha remains,” Abdul Samad, director of Bhamla’s archaeology and museums department, told Reuters.