Pak taking advantage of Covid19 pandemic to enhance cross-border terrorism: India

PTI, Nov 3, 2020, 10:45 AM IST


United Nations: Strongly hitting out at Pakistan, India has said it is taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to enhance support to cross-border terrorism and has resorted to “unbridled hate speech’ to try and create divisions among India’s religious communities.

Addressing an interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Ashish Sharma on Monday said the hate speech by Pakistan is not merely directed towards one community in India but also against organisations, individuals and even against high ranking political leaders.

“While the world has come to a standstill due to the pandemic, Pakistan has only enhanced support to cross-border terrorism taking advantage of the pandemic,” he said.

Pakistan has resorted to “unbridled hate speech trying to foment violence and intolerance in our country,’ he told the UN forum. India strongly hit out at Pakistan for abusing the UN platform to forward its “nefarious political agenda.” Sharma said that Pakistan is trying to “create divisions among our religious communities as well. Fortunately, their provocation is falling on deaf ears since India has had a tradition of pluralism and co-existence where all communities live in harmony under a democratic framework.

India called on Pakistan to practice co-existence in their own country and eschew all sectarian violence, discrimination and intolerance against their own people.

Sharma said the world today is confronted not only by the challenge of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the challenge of “infodemic”, which in many cases has been responsible for rise in hate speech and seeding hatred within communities.

In June, India along with 12 countries co-sponsored the Cross-Regional Statement on “Infodemic” in the Context of COVID-19 – a first of its kind statement by UN Member States to counter the increase in hate speech and misinformation during the pandemic.

“India is fighting COVID 19 pandemic in the most transparent manner with equal access to medical facilities to all citizens,” Sharma said at the Third Committee meeting of the General Assembly, adding that special efforts have been taken to ensure that vulnerable communities are provided adequate medical support.

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