FM urges UN to act against hate-based narrative vs Islam

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has urged the United Nations (UN) to take notice and action against the hate-based narrative against Islam.
In a statement on Monday, the foreign minister said that there is resentment in the world over the blasphemous caricatures. He said the irresponsible statement of the French President has added fuel to the fire. He said nobody has the right to hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims under the garb of freedom of expression.
The foreign minister said the seeds of hate that are being cultivated today will polarize the society and have serious consequences. Qureshi said the French ambassador to Pakistan has been summoned to the Foreign Office to register protest.
On the instructions of the Prime Minister, the foreign minister said a comprehensive resolution will be presented at the next meeting of the OIC foreign ministers, proposing to observe 15th March as the international day against Islamophobia.
In a separate statement, the Prime Minister’s aide on Religious Harmony and Middle East, Maulana Tahir Ashrafi said that Pakistan will take up the issue of blasphemous caricatures at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) forum.
In a tweet, he said France has hurt the sentiments of Muslims and Prime Minister Imran Khan has already raised the issue of desecration of sanctities at every forum.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office summoned on Monday French Ambassador Marc Baréty to record Pakistan’s strong protest over French President Emmanuel Macron’s Islamophobic comments and publication of blasphemous sketches.
The special secretary for Europe handed over a letter of protest to the French ambassador.
Earlier this month, schoolteacher Samuel Paty, was beheaded by an 18-year-old man for showing blasphemous cartoons to his students in the name of “freedom of expression”. The 18-year-old was subsequently killed by the French police.
Responding to the teacher’s killing, French President Macron had said that “Islam as a religion is in crisis all over the world, schools will be closely monitored and control over incoming foreign funding to mosques will be further improved.”
Several Muslim countries condemned Macron’s statement and called for a boycott of French products, whereas Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “What problem does the French president have with Muslims and Islam? He needs mental treatment.”
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday criticised the opposition parties for toeing Indian narrative under the banner of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).
Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, the foreign minister slammed PDM, an alliance of political opposition parties, for targeting armed forces and other national institutions.
“Pakistan Democratic Movement is damaging Pakistan by making national institutions controversial. They [opposition parties] should be ashamed of themselves for peddling Indian narrative regarding Balochistan in yesterday’s Quetta rally,” said Qureshi.
He further said the present government will not come under any pressure of opposition. “If you are thinking that the government will come under any pressure by your three power shows then you must correct yourself as we [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf] also know how to hold rallies.”
He also criticised opposition lawmakers for politicizing the religious issue.
Meanwhile, according to details submitted to the National Assembly, the federal government received over Rs4.84 billion donations of which the overseas Pakistanis contributed an amount of Rs 1.06 billion. The funds provided from the masses within the country for COVID-19 relief activities are over Rs 3.78 billion.
It is pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan in April this year urged the nation to generously donate in the PM’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund-2020 set up to fight the coronavirus. – TLTP

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