India, while speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, said that Pakistan continued to incite a “culture of violence” on its ground and across the border, PTI reported.

First Secretary to India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Vidisha Maitra, was speaking during the forum on “Transformative role of the Culture of Peace: Promoting Resilience and Inclusion in Post-COVID Recovery”.

Maitra specifically responded to Islamabad envoy Munir Alam’s remark on the burial of deceased separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

After Geelani passed away on September 1, his family had claimed that they were not allowed to attend the burial. They had also alleged that the final rites were carried out without following the mandatory ablution and shrouding customs. Ablution means cleansing the body with water, while shrouding is covering it with a cloth.

The police denied the allegations and posted multiple videos online to prove that the rituals took place.

“We have witnessed yet another attempt today by the delegation of Pakistan to exploit a UN platform for hate speech against India...” Vidisha Maitra said. “We dismiss and condemn all such efforts.”

“A culture of peace is not just an abstract value or principle to be discussed and celebrated in conferences,” she continued. “It needs to be actively built into global relationships between and among member states.”

Maitra said such a culture of peace could be fostered through pluralism, compassion, cultural diversity and dialogue.

She also called for objective and impartial discussion on religion at the General Assembly and assured the UN that India stood for humanity, democracy and non-violence.

“The world should be concerned by terrorists who use religion to justify these acts and those who support them in this quest,” she said. “The United Nations, including UN Alliance of Civilizations and Member States, should refrain from selectivity on such issues which hinders a culture of peace.”

She rued the rise in intolerance, violence and terrorism, even during the pandemic.

“Even in the midst of the pandemic, we face the “infodemic” challenge which has been responsible for a rise in hate speech and in seeding hatred within communities,” Maitra said.

According to the World Health Organization, an infodemic is when there is too much information, including false or misleading information in digital and physical environments, during a disease outbreak. It also leads to mistrust in health authorities and undermines the public health response.

In June 2020, India and 12 other countries had co-sponsored the Cross-Regional Statement on Infodemic.

India’s push for no Kashmir discussion at UN

Last week, India had pushed for permanently removing discussions on Jammu and Kashmir under the “outdated agenda item” of The India-Pakistan question from the United Nations Security Council’s matters.

In an indirect attack on Islamabad, New Delhi had claimed that there were no takers for the “irrational exuberance” with which the topic was raised.

At a virtual informal meeting of the plenary on the yearly report of the Security Council, Pakistan’s United Nation’s Ambassador Munir Akram had flagged the Jammu and Kashmir matter. Akram said that the UNSC also had not implemented its resolutions and decisions related to the erstwhile state in India.

“Indian representatives are either deluding themselves, or deluding their public, by asserting that they will remove Kashmir from the Security Council’s agenda,” Akram had said, according to Dawn.

Akram argued that the Security Council’s agenda was set under the established rules and procedures and could be changed only by a consensus decision of the council. “A member state cannot change the agenda unilaterally.”

A security lockdown was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, after the Parliament revoked its special constitutional status, detained several political leaders, and severed communication links. Eleven days later, the UN Security Council had conducted the first closed-door meeting on the topic, even as India had reiterated that Kashmir was an internal matter.