PRIME MINISTER Atal Bihari Vajpayee has
written to world leaders about the reported decree of the Taliban militia in Afghanistan
to destroy all statues in that country including Bamiyan Buddhas, describing this order as
a "disquieting development".
In letters to leaders of US, UK, France, Japan, Russia, China, South
Korea, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and the UN Secretary General,
Vajpayee stressed that "the collective voice of humanity be raised against this
outrage and that the Taliban be made to see reason."
He said "we should also take up this matter with those countries
that have influence with the Taliban so that they too could intervene to seek the
withdrawal of the decree," an external affairs ministry statement said today.
Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates have accorded
recognition to the Taliban regime though Riyadh has since downgraded its ties with this
Vajpayee said the reported decree "represents a further
obscurantist regression - an assault on centuries of Afghan tradition and upon an
irreplaceable civilisational inheritance of all mankind. We are disturbed to see that this
demolition is already in progress," he said.