Pakistan PM demands apology from Western extremists involved in disrespecting Prophet

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ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday demanded an apology from extremists in the West involved in disrespect to Prophet Muhammad under guise of freedom of speech.

In a series of tweets, the premier urged the Western governments to outlaw the blasphemy as they have banned any negative comment on the holocaust.

“I also call on Western govts who have outlawed any negative comment on the holocaust to use the same standards to penalise those deliberately spreading their message of hate against Muslims by abusing our Prophet PBUH,” he wrote.

He said that the extremist elements in the West, including extreme right politicians, who deliberately indulge in such abuse and hate under guise of freedom of speech, clearly lacked moral sense.

He added that such elements also lacked courage to apologise to the 1.3 billion Muslims for causing this hurt.

“We demand an apology from these extremists,” the prime minister said.

“My message to extremists abroad who indulge in Islamophobia & racist slurs to hurt & cause pain to 1.3 bn Muslims across the globe: We Muslims have the greatest love & respect for our Prophet PBUH who lives in our hearts. We cannot tolerate any such disrespect & abuse,” he added.

Talking about ban on Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), he said: “Let me make clear to people here & abroad: Our govt only took action against TLP under our anti-terrorist law when they challenged the writ of the state and used street violence & attacking the public & law enforcers”.

He clarified that no one can be above the law and the Constitution.

Ban on TLP

The federal government on Thursday formally banned the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), whose supporters staged three days of violent protests across the country this week after the arrest of their leader.

A notification declaring TLP as a proscribed organisation was issued by the Ministry of Interior shortly after the federal cabinet approved a summary to ban the party.

The notification said the federal government “has reasonable grounds to believe that Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan is engaged in terrorism, acted in a manner prejudicial to the peace and security of the country, involved in creating anarchy in the country by intimidating the public, caused grievous bodily harm, hurt and death to the personnel of Law Enforcement Agencies and innocent by-standers, attacked civilians and officials, created wide-scale hurdles, threatened, abused and promoted hatred, vandalised and ransacked public and government properties including vehicles and caused arson, blocked essential health supplies to hospitals, and has used, threatened, coerced, intimidated, and overawed the government [and] the public and created sense of fear and insecurity in the society and the public at large”.

“Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 11B(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, the Federal Government is pleased to list Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan in the First Schedule to the said Act as a proscribed organisation for the purposes of the said Act,” it added.

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