ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday appreciated Russian President Vladimir Putin for his emphatic statement that freedom of speech could not be a pretext to abuse Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The premier expressed his appreciation during a telephonic conversation with Putin.
“He [Putin] is the first Western leader to show empathy & sensitivity to Muslim sentiment for their beloved Prophet PBUH,” PM Imran Khan wrote on Twitter.
“We also discussed ways to move forward on trade and other mutually beneficial cooperation between our two countries. We invited each other to visit our countries,” he added.
We also discussed ways to move forward on trade and other mutually beneficial cooperation between our two countries. We invited each other to visit our countries.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 17, 2022
In December 2021, Putting while addressing his annual news conference said that insults to the Prophet are a “violation of religious freedom and the violation of the sacred feelings of people who profess Islam”.
The Russian president highlighted that such acts trigger extremist reprisals, citing as an example the attack on the editorial office of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris after it published blasphemous sketches of the prophet.
He also criticized posting photos of Nazis on websites such as the one titled the Immortal Regiment and dedicated to Russians that died in World War Two.
While praising artistic freedom in general, Putin said it has its limits and it shouldn’t infringe on other freedoms.
Russia has evolved as a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state, so Russians, he said, are used to respecting each other’s traditions. In some other countries, this respect comes in short supply, he said.