Pakistan summons Dutch envoy; protests ‘blasphemous tweets’

Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, Pakistan. (Photo courtesy: Anadolu agency)
Updated 26 October 2018

Pakistan summons Dutch envoy; protests ‘blasphemous tweets’

  • Right-wing politician Geert Wilders posted a series of ‘blasphemous’ comments on his official Twitter account
  • Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua called upon the Dutch government to condemn the controversial tweets

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday summoned the ambassador of the Netherlands to lodge a strong protest against “blasphemous” messages posted on Twitter by Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, who lodged the protest, informed the ambassador that “such acts cannot be allowed with impunity under the pretext of freedom of expression.” She also conveyed Pakistan’s deep concern and disappointment with the “continued and deliberate malicious attempts of the Dutch parliamentarian to hurt the sentiments of hundreds of millions of Muslims across the world,” and called upon the Dutch government to condemn the controversial tweets and to take action to prevent such incidents from happening again.
The ambassador told Janjua that he will convey the concerns of the government and people of Pakistan to the authorities in the Netherlands, the ministry said.
Earlier this year, Wilders announced a cartoon contest that many Muslims considered blasphemous but canceled it following criticism and protests across the Muslim world. The Dutch government also distanced itself from the politician and his competition, with Prime Minister Mark Rutte reiterating that Wilders, the leader of the right-wing Party for Freedom, is not a member of the government.
“To avoid the risk of victims of Islamic violence, I have decided not to let the cartoon contest go ahead,” Wilders had said in a written statement at the time. He claimed to have received death threats.


Pakistani jailed for Dutch anti-Islam MP murder plot

Updated 18 November 2019

Pakistani jailed for Dutch anti-Islam MP murder plot

  • A Dutch court found the 27-year-old guilty of ‘planning a murder with a terrorist motive’
  • The judge added four years in jail to the six years sought by the prosecution

THE HAGUE: A Dutch court sentenced a Pakistani man to 10 years behind bars Monday for planning to assassinate a politician Geert Wilders after the MP announced an anti-Islam cartoon competition.
The man, identified as Junaid I. by local media, was arrested in August 2018 at a train station in The Hague after he posted a film on Facebook in which he said he wanted to “send Wilders to hell” and urged others to help.
Judges at The Hague’s district court found the 27-year-old man, who had traveled from France, guilty of “planning a murder with a terrorist motive” and “incitement to commit a terrorist deed.”
“The suspect more than once said that Wilders’ death would be a good deed,” said presiding judge Jan van Steen, who added four years in jail to the six years sought by the prosecution.
“Furthermore, the suspect wanted to commit the murder in one of the parliamentary buildings, the heart of Dutch democracy,” Van Steen said, adding “the court is alarmed that the suspect... declared that this case will boost his image in Pakistan.”
The suspect had denied any terror-related motives.
He said during the trial that he was “peace-loving” and had only traveled to the Netherlands from France to protest against Wilders’ cartoon competition.
The Facebook video was seen by more than 153,000 people and shared 14,000 times.
Far-right leader Wilders canceled his plans two days later to stage a cartoon competition against the Prophet of Islam, a move that angered many Muslims, particularly in Pakistan where protests were led by the hard-line Islamist Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan party.
Wilders, 56, known for his peroxide bouffant hairdo and firebrand anti-immigration and anti-Islamist statements, lives in a safe house and has been granted 24-hour protection by the Dutch state.
The court did not say how Junaid I. planned to kill Wilders but found that in a bugged phone call after his arrest he said he took “specific things with him... without which his mission would not be complete.”
He had also walked round with a “large backpack, which he did not have when he was arrested” and lied about what it contained, the judges said.
A day after Wilders announced the cancelation, an Afghan man stabbed two American tourists at Amsterdam’s main train station. The man, who said he wanted to “protect the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),” was last month sentenced to 26 years in jail.