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Imran Khan speaks to Putin, appreciates his remarks on Prophet Muhammad’s sanctity

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephonic conversation with the Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, and appreciated the latter’s statement that insulting Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) does not count as an expression of artistic freedom but is a “violation of religious freedom.”

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The two leaders fondly recalled their conversations during last year and exchanged views on bilateral cooperation as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

The prime minister said that he has been regularly highlighted the appalling rise in Islamophobia and associated hatred in his addresses to the UN General Assembly, pointing towards its serious ramifications.

Imran Khan underscored that Pakistan’s bilateral relationship with Russia was on an upward trajectory, with an increased focus on trade and economic ties, and energy cooperation. He reiterated the government’s resolve for early realization of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project.

Both leaders agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in different areas, increase high-level exchanges, and remain in close contact on matters relating to Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan underscored that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was pivotal for regional stability.

Imran Khan stressed that Afghanistan was facing dire humanitarian & economic challenges and the support of the international community to the people of Afghanistan at this critical juncture remained vitally important.

The prime minister also underscored the importance of the release of Afghanistan’s financial assets for addressing the dire needs of the Afghan people.

The prime minister said that he looked forward to President Putin’s visit to Pakistan as well as his own visit to Russia at an appropriate time.

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