United Nations, Oct 10 (PTI) The United Nations Security Council strongly condemned the “atrocious” ISIS terror attack on a mosque in Afghanistan and other recent attacks against religious institutions in the war-torn country, references that India categorically insisted on in a statement issued by the powerful UN body and rejected any attempts to dilute them.
The 15-nation UNSC issued the press statement on Saturday in which the members “condemned in the strongest terms the atrocious and cowardly terrorist attack in Kunduz, Afghanistan" on October 8.
“The attack, which was claimed by Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), an entity affiliated with Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), resulted in more than 150 casualties killed and wounded. The attack, which took place at the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque, follows other recent attacks against religious institutions in Afghanistan,” the press statement said.
An Islamic State suicide bomber struck inside the Shiite Mosque.
Sources said that India stood firm on two aspects that eventually were noted in the press statement.
The statement clearly reflects the sectarian nature of the terrorist attack that is seen not only in Afghanistan but in Pakistan as well where Shiite institutions are coming under terrorist attacks. The second aspect that India stood firmly for and which finds mention in the press statement is attacks on other minority religious institutions.
There were attempts to have these references either removed, changed or diluted but this was rejected by India, which stood firm that both - the sectarian nature of the violence as well as other minority religious institutions being targeted - should be recognised in the statement, sources said, adding that India’s position was accepted and the statement was then issued.
According to reports, Gurdwara Karte Parwan in Kabul was vandalised earlier this month.
The Ministry of External Affairs had said that the vandalisation of the Gurdwara in Kabul raises concerns not just for India but for the world, and the international community must continue to insist on fulfilling goals outlined in a UN Security Council resolution that was adopted under India’s Presidency of the powerful Security Council.
Against this backdrop, India was very clear that both the aspects should be unequivocally condemned.
The Council also underlined the need to hold perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice and urged all states, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with all relevant authorities.
“The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security,” the statement said.
The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
They reaffirmed the need for all states to combat by all means, in accordance with the UN Charter and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
The members expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned in the strongest terms the horrific attack on the mosque, noting that this was the third attack against a religious institution in less than a week.
“Attacks that deliberately target civilians exercising the right to freely practice their religion are violations of fundamental human rights and international humanitarian law. The perpetrators must be brought to justice,” Guterres said, expressing his condolences to the bereaved families.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) had said that the UN family in Afghanistan is deeply concerned by the “very high casualties” in the mosque attack.
The mission said that the attack is part of a “disturbing” pattern of violence. It is the third deadly attack this week apparently targeting a religious institution.
“Islamic State (KP) claimed responsibility for Sunday’s incident next to a Kabul Mosque. Wednesday’s attack on a madrassa in Khost unclaimed,” UNAMA said in a tweet.