Pakistan for urgent meeting of OIC permanent representatives

Blasphemous content

FM desires to take relations with US towards improvement

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

Pakistan has called for an urgent meeting of permanent representatives of the OIC to adopt a unified stance against the blasphemous content. The request was made by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmoud Qureshi in a letter to the OIC Secretary General.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the Senate on Tuesday that he has also written six letters to the OIC Foreign Ministers on this sensitive issue apprising them about the sentiments of the Pakistani nation on the matter.
The foreign minister said that he will also take up the matter with the Council of OIC Foreign Ministers meeting during his visit to the United States next month. He said our endeavor is to adopt a unified approach on the matter. He said the issue of blasphemous content has also been raised with Secretary General United Nations and the UN Human Rights Commission. He said we also plan to raise the matter with European Union as the matter may affect its own peace and security. He said the act of a Dutch politician has hurt the sentiments of not only Pakistani nation but the entire Muslim Ummah. He said no words are sufficient to condemn this detestable act. He said the flag bearers of freedom of expression should show similar sensitivity and concern to the act, the way they showed on the matter of Holocaust and the Black people of the US. He said their indifference will only fan intolerance and religious extremism. This is the matter of humanity and we should not allow the humanity to get divided.
Earlier, the House held discussion regarding the continuous display of abusive and blasphemous material against Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad [PBUH] on the internet.
Leader of the House Shibli Faraz suggested a committee be constituted to discuss the way forward as to how the matter could effectively be raised at the international forums.
Other members said that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority should take concrete steps to block such websites that are attacking the personality of the Holy Prophet. They said being Muslims it is our collective responsibility to ensure the sanctity of the Holy Prophet. They said that the FIA locate the persons involved in uploading of profane content on the internet.
The members also strongly condemned the planned blasphemous cartoon competition in the Netherlands. They said that this is not freedom of expression but a detestable act to hurt the sentiments of Muslims. They said the holy Prophet gave the message of peace and those trying to desecrate his personality are the terrorists and they are bound to bite the dust. They said the Muslim rulers should fulfill their responsibility and cut off economic and diplomatic ties with the Netherlands. Responding to the point of order of Mian Raza Rabbani, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan desires to steer its bilateral relations with the United States towards improvement.
He said the US Secretary of State is expected to visit Pakistan on the 5th of next month. He said weightage will be given to the opinion of people and its elected representatives while taking forward relations with Washington.

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