India stressed that religious and cultural heritage sites remained vulnerable to terror acts and destruction in the “world of growing terrorism and violent extremism.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 09:17 AM IST
India on Thursday slammed Pakistan over the vandalism of a Hindu temple that was set ablaze by a mob of hundreds in December last year in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of the neighbouring country. As the United Nations adopted a resolution, “Promoting a culture of peace and tolerance to safeguard religious sites”, India stressed that religious and cultural heritage sites remained vulnerable to terror acts and destruction in the “world of growing terrorism, violent extremism, radicalization and intolerance.”
TS Tirumurti, the Indian ambassador to the United Nations, said as a multicultural state, India safeguards all religious and cultural rights and protects places of worship as he criticised Pakistan, saying authorities stood by idly when the temple in Karak town was attacked. Warning against the selective enforcement of laws against attacks on religious sites, Tirumurti stressed that, as long as such selectivity exists, the world will never be able to foster a real culture of peace. “This resolution cannot be a smokescreen for countries like Pakistan to hide behind,” he said.
Pakistan’s representative, while exercising his right of reply, categorically rejected the “unwarranted assertions” made against his country by India.
Speaking about other such events across the globe, India said, “Images of shattering of iconic Bamyan Buddha by fundamentalists are still vivid in our memories. The terrorist bombing of Sikh gurudwara in Afghanistan where 25 worshipers were killed is another example of this vulnerability,” according to news agency ANI.
India also reiterated its call for the application of the principles of objectivity, non-selectivity and impartiality to form the basis of discussions in the United Nations especially on the issue of religion. “United Nations including the UN Alliance of Civilizations should not take sides and as long as such selectivity exists, the world can never truly foster a culture of peace. We must stand united against the forces that supplant dialogue and peace with hatred and violence,” the Indian envoy was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
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