NEW YORK: Pakistan has voiced its concern to a United Nations’ panel about Indian government’s deliberate campaign of hatred targeting Muslims and minority religious groups with state-sponsored violence and increased attacks on their places of worship.
At the launch of ‘Group of Friends of Victims of Acts of Violence based on Religion or Belief” on Thursday, Pakistani delegate Qasim Aziz said hateful political rhetoric and incitement of violence in India was routinely used as a weapon against vulnerable minority groups.
Aziz also expressed grave concern over the alarming rise of Islamophobia across the world.
Aziz stressed upon the contemporary manifestation of a similar kind of age-old hatred that spawned anti-semitism, racism, apartheid and many other forms of discrimination.
“Today, Islamophobia is slowly overtaking other forms of religious bigotry and violence,” Aziz told the forum. “Indeed, it is becoming increasingly difficult to practice, look and live as a Muslim in many parts of the world,”
He gave the example of the attack on Christchurch, New Zealand as a grim reminder of the fact.
Earlier, one of the panellists on the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Ahmed Shaheed, also expressed similar concerns about increased attacks against Muslims and other minorities in India.
Pakistan became the founding member of the new Group which was formed in pursuance of last year’s General Assembly resolution which was jointly tabled with Poland, along with other cross-regional member states.
Under the terms of the resolution, August 22 was designated as an international day in support of the victims of violence based on religion or belief.
The group is coalitions of UN member states, who allied together in order to further and actualise particular goals and outcomes related to specific issues or situations.
Pakistan, as a member, plans to draw systematic attention to contemporary issues at the United Nations such as combating hate speech, xenophobia, Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination based on religion or belief.