UN adopts Pakistan-backed resolution against religious violence

File photo of Maleeha Lodhi Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. UN General Assembly Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution, co-sponsored by Pakistan, that strongly condemns continuing violence and acts of terrorism targeting individuals Photo Courtesy (Maleeha Lodhi Twitter account)
Updated 03 April 2019

UN adopts Pakistan-backed resolution against religious violence

  • Pakistan’s UN ambassador highlights rise of Islamophobia, extreme nationalistic and populist ideologies in the region and beyond
  • Praises New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her “exemplary leadership” in aftermath of attacks on two mosques last month

UNITED NATIONS:  UN General Assembly Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution, co-sponsored by Pakistan, that strongly condemns continuing violence and acts of terrorism targeting individuals, including persons belonging to religious minorities, based on religion or belief.
After the passage of the resolution that decried the recent Islamophobic terrorist attack in New Zealand, Pakistani Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi highlighted the rise of extreme nationalistic and populist ideologies in the West and also in Pakistan’s neighbourhood.
That trend, she said in an obvious swipe at India’s Hindutva ideology, was giving rise to “bigotry, intolerance, anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia”
“Pervasive Islamophobia is a global phenomenon and calls for a global response: collaborative, coherent and committed action against incidents that fuel, funnel and fortify this narrative against Islam and Muslims,” she told the 193-member Assembly.
“The adoption of the resolution today is a strong manifestation of our shared commitment to stand united against racial and religious hatred.”
By the terms of Tuesday’s resolution, titled “Combating terrorism and other acts of violence based on religion or belief, the Assembly condemned in the strongest terms the heinous, cowardly terrorist attack aimed at Muslim praying in two mosques in Christchurch, and expressed its deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and the people of that country. In further terms, the Assembly urged States to protect and promote freedom of religion and belief and to foster a domestic environment of religious tolerance, peace and respect.
Introducing that resolution, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, told the 193-member Assembly that the international community must stand up against the spiral of hate. Sending condolences to the families of the Muslims who were killed in Christchurch in a clearly planned terrorist attack, he said that Islamophobia and racism go hand in hand.
Rejecting the actions of reckless politicians who often use distorted historical narratives and toxic conspiracy theories to equate Islam with terrorism, he quoted the poet Rumi who said, “listen with ears of tolerance, see with eyes of compassion, speak the language of love.”
In her speech, Ambassador Lodhi, noting that nine victims of the Christchurch attack hailed from her country, said that profiling and stigmatizing people from one country leads to drastic consequences.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and survivors of this cowardly terrorist attack. While expressing solidarity with the people and government of New Zealand, she saluted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her “exemplary leadership” in the face of this tragedy.
The Christchurch terrorist, she said, was only the latest manifestation of a growing phenomenon rooted in hate, bigotry, racism, and the extremist ideology of racial and white supremacy.
“The rise of extreme nationalist and populist ideologies in liberal Western democracies and elsewhere, including in our region, are fanning the flames of bigotry, intolerance, anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia,” the Pakistani envoy added.
The growing prejudice against Islam was “evident in policies aimed at creating walls and barriers against displaced populations, as much as in attempts to denigrate Islamic beliefs and our sacred personalities on the pretext of freedom of expression.”
“The political falsehood of equating people of different religions with violent extremism, in order to garner political support for the forces of hate lies at the heart of this phenomenon,” Ambassador Lodhi said.
Freedom of expression, she said, was often used as an excuse to enable such vile expression to prosper and for hate speech to enter the mainstream. The Christchurch tragedy also exposed social media’s radicalizing role.
“It is time that we evolve ways to ensure that social media companies are held accountable for their content that incites violence or spreads hatred,” she said, adding that Islamophobia posed a grave threat to global peace and security.
“We must strengthen efforts to foster a global dialogue on the promotion of a culture of tolerance, dialogue and peace at all levels, she said, while emphasizing respect for human rights and diversity as well as space for diverse voices, religions, worldviews and faith traditions.
Pakistan, she said, was committed to continuing its efforts to build bridges of understanding and challenge and resist those who seek to construct walls of bigotry and hatred.
“We look towards all those who believe in humanity’s common future, to help in evolving a consensus for action to combat the forces of Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism.”


Pakistan cruises to 2nd Twenty20 win vs Bangladesh

Updated 25 January 2020

Pakistan cruises to 2nd Twenty20 win vs Bangladesh

  • Babar Azam, who was out for zero on Friday in Pakistan’s five-wicket win, remained not out on 66
  • Bangladesh’s top-order batsmen struggled for the second consecutive day as the side was restricted to 136-6

LAHORE: Captain Babar Azam and recalled Mohammad Hafeez struck unbeaten half centuries as Pakistan cruised to a nine-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the second Twenty20 on Saturday and kept alive its hopes of retaining the No. 1 ranking.
Pakistan could stay top if it completes a 3-0 clean sweep by winning the final Twenty20 of the three-match series on Monday.
Recalled 39-year-old Hafeez made an unbeaten 67 off 49 balls while No. 1-ranked Twenty20 batsman Babar remained not out on 66 as Pakistan eased to 137-1 with more than three overs to spare.
Both batsmen entertained a weekend crowd of around 20,000 at the Qaddafi Stadium with a splendid 131-run stand against a listless Bangladesh bowling attack.
Shafiul Islam was the lone successful bowler when he had Ahsan Ali caught at mid off for a duck in his first over before Babar and Hafeez took charge. Bangladesh’s disappointing performance was summed up when wicketkeeper Liton Das dropped Hafeez soon after he had reached his half century.
Hafeez, who completed his half century with two successive fours off Shafiul in the 13th over, struck nine fours and a six while Babar, who was out for zero on Friday in Pakistan’s five-wicket win, hit seven boundaries and a six.
In the absence of the banned Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, who pulled out of the tour due to security concerns, Bangladesh’s top-order batsmen struggled for the second consecutive day as the side was restricted to 136-6.
Earlier, opening batsman Tamim Iqbal labored for 53 balls on his way to a top score of 65 before he was run out in the 18th over as the Bangladesh innings struggled to build any momentum against the Pakistan pace attack.
The inexperienced pace trio of Mohammad Hasnain (2-20), Shaheen Afridi (1-22) and Haris Rauf (1-27) combined to bowl 12 overs, conceding only 69 runs between them and sharing four wickets.
Captain Mahmudullah, who won his second successive toss, surprisingly didn’t put himself in the top order while another experienced batsman, Soumya Sarkar, came in after the fall of Tamim’s wicket with only 14 balls left in the innings.
Bangladesh will round out the first phase of the Pakistan tour on Monday. The team didn’t want to stay in Pakistan for more than a week due to security concerns.
The tour was only finalized last week when Bangladesh agreed to split the Twenty20 series and the two ICC World Test Championship matches into three phases after the countries’ national cricket boards reached consensus in Dubai during a meeting facilitated by International Cricket Council chairman Shashank Manohar.
Bangladesh will return for the first test in Rawalpindi from Feb. 7-11. After a break of almost two months, Bangladesh will play an ODI and the second test in Karachi on April 3-9.
Late last year, Sri Lanka also split its tour to Pakistan into two phases when it played a Twenty20 series in Lahore and then returned in December for two test matches in Rawalpindi and Karachi, staying in Pakistan for 16 days.