Following religious tensions sparked by the inauguration of a controversial Hindu temple in India, Pakistan has urged the United Nations to take action to protect Islamic sites in the country. Pakistan’s UN envoy, Munir Akram, conveyed this plea during an OIC ambassadorial meeting at the UN headquarters in New York.
He condemned the consecration of the Ram temple on the site of the demolished Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, India, and expressed concerns about the potential threat to the well-being of Indian Muslims and regional harmony.
The appeal came amid reports of local authorities in Mumbai tearing down Muslim-owned makeshift shopfronts, a move following religious clashes triggered by the temple inauguration. Minor clashes occurred in parts of Mumbai, with authorities subsequently demolishing shopfronts, leading to criticism from affected traders. The municipal officials stated that the campaign was routine and aimed at clearing illegal encroachments.
The letter from Pakistan’s UN envoy emphasized the need for urgent intervention to protect religious sites in India, particularly Islamic heritage sites. It called on the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations to play a crucial role in safeguarding these sites and securing the rights of religious and cultural minorities in India.
The envoy pointed out that the situation extended beyond the Babri Mosque, citing other mosques, including the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi and the Shahi Eidgah Mosque in Mathura, facing similar threats of desecration and destruction.
The statements from various ambassadors underscored the need for international attention to protect religious sites and ensure the rights of religious and cultural minorities in India. The upcoming OIC ambassadorial meeting is expected to address these concerns on a broader scale.