ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday summoned the French Ambassador Marc Baréty to convey Pakistan’s deep concerns over the recent systematic resurgence of blasphemous acts of republication of caricatures of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and desecration of the Holy Quran by certain irresponsible elements.
It was underscored that such illegal and Islamophobic acts hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the world including those in Pakistan.
Furthermore, such actions could not be justified in the name of freedom of expression.
It was further conveyed that Pakistan strongly condemned equating Islam with terrorism, for narrow electoral and political gains. Such provocative statements and actions were fanning inter-religious hatred, hostility and confrontation thereby imperiling efforts of peace and harmony among various segments of society.
It was reiterated that freedom of expression should not be misused as means to attack or hurt public sentiments or religious beliefs and fan inter-religious hatred, hostility and confrontation.
It was emphasized that such actions and statements would further divide peoples and civilizations and undermine the global aspirations for peaceful co-existence as well as social and inter-faith harmony.
At a time of rising racism, intolerance and populism, there is a need to promote harmony among peoples and communities instead of reinforcing stereotypes and making people alienated.