Pakistan and India clashed at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday over the situation of minority rights in their respective countries as the assembly passed a resolution, co-sponsored by Pakistan, condemning the damage and the destruction of religious sites.
Dismissing what are known as India’s “unwarranted claims” about the burning of a Hindu shrine at Karak tehsil in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last month, Pakistani delegate Zulqarnain Chheena said India should do more. order in his own home rather than pretending to care about minority rights elsewhere.
“This is not the first time that India has tried to feign concern for minority rights elsewhere while itself being the most egregious and persistent violator of minority rights,” he said. -he adds.
The resolution was proposed by Saudi Arabia and co-sponsored by other Arab countries, including Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Sudan, Oman, United Arab Emirates and the United Arab Emirates. Palestine, which is recognized as a non-member observer state by the United Nations.
Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines and Venezuela were also co-sponsors.
Speaking at the meeting, however, the representative of India said it was “ironic” that Pakistan was one of the co-sponsors of the resolution, alleging that the attack on the Sanctuary of Karak was carried out with the “explicit support” of the police.
“The resolution cannot be a smokescreen behind which countries like Pakistan are hiding,” India Today said, quoting the Indian delegate.
Exercising his right of reply, Chheena said: âThe marked difference between India and Pakistan regarding minority rights can be measured by the fact that those accused of the Karak incident were immediately arrested. , orders were issued for the repair of the temple, the highest level of the judiciary immediately took note, and senior political leadership condemned the incident.
“While in India, blatant acts of discrimination against Muslims and other minorities are taking place with the complicity of the state.”
In this regard, the Pakistani delegate cited the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Citizen Registry, the Gujarat massacre in 2002, the Delhi pogrom in 2020, the demolition of the Babri Mosque in 1992 and the acquittal of the defendants in 2020, blaming Muslims for the spread of the coronavirus. , raising the scarecrow of ‘jihad of love’, cow vigilance and labeling Muslims in West Bengal as ‘termites’, extrajudicial killings of innocent Kashmiris and blatant attempts to turn Muslims into a minority in Kashmir busy.
“The record of the RSS-BJP regime is full of cases of gross and systemic violations of the rights of minorities, especially Muslims,” ââsaid the Pakistani delegate.
âIndian leaders have yet to convict the perpetrators of the Delhi massacre in February 2020, let alone bring these criminals to justice.
“As a permanent provider of state-sponsored discrimination against its minorities, India is unable to pontificate elsewhere on the issue of minority rights,” Chheena told the assembly.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Munir Akram, said: âPakistan will continue to play a leading role in exposing violent attacks on religious sites.
The resolution condemns the “increasing targeting of cultural property, including religious sites and ritual objects […] by terrorist attacks and illegal militias, often resulting in destruction as well as the theft and illicit trafficking of stolen objects “.
It strongly deplores “all the attacks on and in places, sites and religious shrines […] including any deliberate destruction of relics and monuments which violate international law “.
And it condemns all threats of attack, damage or destruction of religious sites, and denounces any attempt to erase or forcibly convert religious sites.
The resolution was supported by the United States and the European Union and adopted by consensus, with UNGA President Volkan Bozkir saying, âIt is so decided.
The resolution notes that the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that previous international efforts have also focused on preventing the desecration of religious sites.
“Religious sites are representative of the history, social fabric and traditions of the peoples of every country and community around the world and should be fully respected as such,” said the resolution.
It reaffirms that the fight against the destruction of tangible and intangible cultural heritage must be holistic, encompassing all regions. It should also consider both prevention and accountability, focusing on the actions of state and non-state actors in conflict and non-conflict situations, and terrorist acts.