UNGA adopts Pakistan resolution for protection of religious sites Pakistan rejects New Delhi’s ‘unwarranted assertions’

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Imran Yaqub Dhillon

New York

The General Assembly on Thursday adopted a Pakistan sponsored resolution to promote a culture of peace and tolerance to safeguard religious sites.
The resolution calls for strengthened international efforts to foster a global dialogue on the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels, based on respect for human rights and for the diversity of religions.
On adoption of Pakistan sponsored resolution on ‘Promoting a culture of peace and tolerance to safeguard religious sites’ message, Ambassador Munir Akram, the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN said in his video message that “We are happy that the UN General Assembly today adopted by consensus a resolution – sponsored by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other OIC countries – on the protection of religious sites”.
Earlier, Pakistan rejected India’s ‘unwarranted assertions’ at the United Nations General Assembly over the recent fire incident at a Hindu temple in KP’s Karak, as the general assembly adopted a resolution co-sponsored by Islamabad against damage to and destruction of religious sites.
Pakistan’s delegate Zulqarnain Chheena was responding to India’s representative who criticised Islamabad’s role in putting forth the resolution. According to him, those who set the temple on fire had the ‘explicit’ support of the country’s law enforcement agencies.
“The adoption of this resolution is a part of the efforts initiated by Prime Minister Imran Khan to combat Islamophobia and outlaw attacks on Muslims religious shrines, symbols and sacred personalities in certain countries,” he said.
He informed that “The resolution condemns all acts or threats of violence, destruction, damage directed against religious sites that have continued to occur across the world, especially in India. The resolution denounces any moves to obliterate or forcibly convert any religious sites”.
The resolution “also expresses concerns on the rise of racial and religious intolerance and negative stereotyping of religions, and condemns any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that promotes discrimination, hostility or violence” he said.
“The adoption of the resolution is also a rebuke to the Hindutva extremists in India who have launched a systematic and government backed programme to eliminate the heritage and legacy of Islam in India through the destruction of Islamic shrines and monuments and to the transformation of India’s Muslims into second class citizens, or non-citizens,” he said.

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