UNSC members castigate Peshawar attack, call for holding perpetrators accountable

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The UN Security Council members have condemned “in the strongest terms” the suicide terrorist attack against the Peshawar mosque, and called for those responsible for the “heinous and cowardly” action to be brought to justice.

A statement issued by the President of the 15-member Council for the month of January, Ambassador President Ishikane Kimihiro of Japan, expressed “deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Pakistan, and they wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured.”

Noting that the attack was claimed by the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP), the statement said that 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 members of the Security Council underlined the need to hold perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice,” the statement said.

They urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Government of Pakistan, as well as all other relevant authorities in this regard.

“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,” the statement further said.

“They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations 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.”

Also condemning the attack, the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Miguel Ángel Moratinos, emphasized in a statement that all forms of violence and acts of terror against civilians and religious sites on account of their religion or belief, are intolerable and unjustifiable and should be unequivocally condemned.

“Houses of worship are sacred places where worshippers should be able to practice and declare their faith safely and freely,” he said, also expressing deep concern at the overall rise in instances of discrimination, intolerance and all acts of violence directed against members of any religious or other communities.

This includes incidents motivated by Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and Christianophobia and prejudices against persons of other religions, beliefs, gender or race.

Calling for mutual respect of all religions and faiths and for fostering a culture of fraternity and peace, he asked governments and other stakeholders to support the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites, which has been developed by the Alliance, at the request of the Secretary-General.