India has slammed Pakistan and urged the United Nations to not take sides when it comes to safeguarding religious sites across the world in today’s times. India at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly has said it is an irony that Pakistan is one of the co-sponsors of the resolution on promoting culture and safeguarding religious sites.
India, at the Adoption of Resolution on promoting culture of peace & tolerance to safeguard religious sites, at the United Nations, said, “In world of growing terrorism, violent extremism, radicalization and intolerance, religious sites and cultural heritage sites remain vulnerable to terror acts and destruction.”
“The images of the shattering of the iconic Bamyan Buddha by fundamentalists are still vivid in our memories. The terrorist bombing of the Sikh gurudwara in Afghanistan where 25 Sikh worshipers were killed is yet another example of this vulnerability. Most recently, in December 2020, a historic Hindu temple was attacked and set on fire by a mob in the town of Karak in Pakistan with explicit support and connivance with the law enforcement agencies which, stood as mute spectators while the historic temple was being razed,” said India’s representative at the UN assembly.
India then went on to appeal, “India reiterates 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. The United Nations including 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.”
Hitting out at Pakistan, India said, “It is a matter of great irony that the country where the most recent attack and demolition of a Hindu temple took place in a series of such attacks and where the rights of minorities are being emasculated is one of the co-sponsors of the resolution under the agenda item “Culture of Peace”. The resolution cannot be smokescreen for countries like Pakistan to hide behind.”
The ambassador also clarified India’s position on safeguarding religious establishments saying the country has stringent laws against violence or discrimination based on religion and referred to the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act of 1991.