''In India, Hindus are planning to build a temple there (in Ayodhya). We haven't done anything like that,'' he said in an interview with the weekly Outlook.
He asserted that the destruction of the Buddha statues was not
aimed against any religion, nation or culture. ''We haven't
destroyed any church, temple or gurudwara in Afghanistan. Hindus and
Sikhs are free to practice their religion.'' He claimed that Hindu
and Sikh traders in Afghanistan enjoyed greater security under the
Taleban than under any previous regime.
Justifying the destruction of the Buddha statues, he said
that keeping and worshipping statues was ''unIslamic'' and the
destruction had been undertaken because the possibility of
worshipping them in future could not be ruled out. ''We don't want
such a thing to happen in an Islamic country.''
He said India had accorded de facto recognition to the Taleban
when External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh visited Kandahar to
negotiate the release of hijacked Indian Airlines passengers in 1999.
''It was painful that the Indian Government, after thanking the
Taleban for handling the hijacking in a responsible and mature way,
made unfounded accusations.''
The Afghan foreign minister wanted India to recognise the
Taleban regime as it controlled 95 per cent of Afghanistan
territory. He said Afghanistan and India shared ties and
advocated normalisation of relations on the
principle of non-interference in each other's internal matters.
EXTERNAL LINK The Interview in 'Outlook'
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