Foreign Desk Report
NEW YORK: Voicing concern that UN principles are being flouted, a top Pakistani diplomat has described as a “grave violation of international norms” the 1992 destruction of the historic Babri Mosque in the Indian city of Ayodhya and the construction now underway of a Hindu Temple on its site.
Speaking in a virtual High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace, Ambassador Munir Akram said that Pakistan supported the UN Plan to Safeguard Religious Sites, but warned of the threats by extremists of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its affiliate Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to destroy hundreds of other mosques and historic Islamic religious sites across India.
“Likewise,” the Pakistani envoy added, “the conscious plan to destroy the Islamic cultural identity and change the Muslims demography of Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is a serious violation of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention.” In the past 75 years, Ambassador Akram said that mankind had made unprecedented progress towards a world order based, not only on power, but human values.
“This world order and international peace, however, are now under grave threat. The principles of UN are being flouted with impunity. Conflicts are proliferating and intensifying,” he told delegates. The coronavirus crisis, instead of uniting humanity, has accentuated and revealed our differences and divisions, the Pakistani envoy added.