By Reena Bhardwaj
Washington [US], June 22 (ANI): The United States on Tuesday condemned the recent attacks in Afghanistan that resulted in civilian casualties, including the attack on the Sikh community in Kabul last week.
On Saturday, Islamic State attacked Karte Parwan Gurdwara in which two people were killed and several others got injured. Gunmen had tried to storm the temple on Saturday morning and all were killed after a standoff that lasted several hours.
"We have condemned the recent attacks that have killed and harm civilians in Afghanistan. This includes the cowardly attack that we saw this weekend against the Sikh community in Kabul that claimed innocent lives including the life of a Sikh worshiper," US State Department Ned Price said during a press briefing.
"This is part of what can only be described as a concerning trend against members of religious minority groups in Afghanistan. We know that as is the case around the world. Afghanistan's diversity is one of its greatest assets," he added.
Price said that terrorists in Afghanistan are striking at the heart of the country's pluralistic identity.
"What we are seeing here appears to be a pattern on the part of terrorists on the part of extremists who are striking at the heart of Afghanistan's pluralistic identity who are striking against Hindus and Sikhs as Sikhs and we must, those perpetrators must be held accountable," he said.
A day earlier, US Special Envoy Rina Amiri has raised concerns about the escalating attacks against Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan.
"Deeply concerned about the escalating attacks against Afghanistan's Hindus & Sikhs. Afghanistan's rich diversity is its greatest treasure. A threat against one group is a threat to the identity of Afghanistan as a whole," Amiri tweeted.
India on Monday condemned in the strongest terms the recent "cowardly attack" at the Sikh temple in Kabul, Afghanistan and said it's time that the UN Member States condemned hatred against non-Abrahamic religions as well.
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), India's Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Ambassador TS Tirumurti raised concerns about the "selective" efforts to combat religiophobias.
"And on 18th June, a couple of days ago and on the very day we commemorated the International Day for countering hate speech, we saw yet another tragic example of this against Sikh religion, this time in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Gurudwara Karte Parwan was attacked, desecrated and damaged. We condemn in the strongest terms this cowardly dastardly attack where lives were tragically lost," said Tirumurti at the informal High-Level Meeting to mark the commemoration of the first International Day for Countering Hate Speech.
The Indian envoy said it's time that UN Member States condemned hatred against non-Abrahamic religions as well and stop from being selective in combating religiophobias. "There cannot be double standards on religiophobias if you truly want to combat hate," he added. (ANI)