Pakistan to present resolution at OIC in wake of Islamophobic campaign in France

The national flags of the members of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) states flying in front of the clock of the Abraj al-Bait Towers in Makkah on Nov. 17, 2019. (AFP/File)
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Updated 27 October 2020

Pakistan to present resolution at OIC in wake of Islamophobic campaign in France

  • Pakistan summons French envoy “to lodge strong protest against recent Islamophobic diatribe,” foreign office says
  • Condemns in "strongest manner the systematic resurgence of blasphemous acts of republication of caricatures of the Holy Prophet (pbuh)”

ISLAMABAD: On the instructions of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Monday a resolution would be presented at the next meeting of the foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, proposing to observe 15th March as an international day against Islamophobia.

Qureshi’s remarks came as Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Monday summoned French ambassador Marc Baréty as anger spread in the South Asian nation over President Emmanuel Macron’s reaction to the murder last week of a French teacher by a Muslim who wanted to avenge the use of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) in a class on freedom of expression.

On Sunday, in an open letter on Twitter, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan called on Facebook to ban “Islamophobic content” on its platform, hours after he accused the French president of “attacking Islam”.

On Monday, FM Qureshi urged the United Nations to take notice and act against the campaign against Islam, saying there was resentment world over due to the resurgence of the blasphemous caricatures.

“Nobody has the right to hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims under the garb of freedom of expression. Irresponsible statement of the French President has added fuel to the fire,” Qureshi said. “Hate speech is on the rise. The Prime Minister raised his voice against hate speech and Islamophobia at the UN General Assembly this year.”

Foreign office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri told Arab News the french ambassador to Pakistan was summoned to the Foreign Office to lodge "strong protest against the recent Islamophobic diatribe,” saying Baréty was handed over a ‘dossier’ by the special secretary for Europe on Monday.

On Wednesday, Macron had vowed not to “give up cartoons” depicting Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), saying that Samuel Paty, the teacher who was beheaded for showing the blasphemous sketches, was “killed beca­use Islamists want our future”.

“Pakistan condemns in the strongest manner the systematic resurgence of blasphemous acts of republication of caricatures of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and desecration of the Holy Quran by certain irresponsible elements in some developed countries,” foreign office said in a statement.


Pakistan becomes founding member of Saudi Digital Cooperation Organization

Updated 44 sec ago

Pakistan becomes founding member of Saudi Digital Cooperation Organization

  • FM Qureshi praises the kingdom’s ‘farsighted initiative’ while calling for greater international collaboration in the digital domain
  • The new organization has been launched to enhance the growth of digital economy that is currently estimated to be over $11 trillion

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday became one of the founding members of an organization launched by a group of Muslim countries to enhance the growth of digital economy, said an official statement circulated by the foreign office in Islamabad on Thursday.
Envisaged by Saudi Arabia, the Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) also includes other Middle Eastern nations like Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
The DCO was launched at a virtual event hosted by the kingdom’s communication minister, Abdullah Al-Swaha.
It was also attended by Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who shared his thoughts with the forum through a video message.
Qureshi lauded the Saudi minister’s “farsighted initiative,” said the statement, and noted that the creation of the organization would cater to the growing need of international cooperation and collaboration in the digital domain.
The Pakistani minister pointed out that the global digital economy was estimated to be worth over $11 trillion and was set to expand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“DCO would offer a platform to promote the global digital agenda in the scientific, health, educational, commercial, social, agricultural, investment and security spheres,” he said.
The foreign minister, who also chairs a dedicated digital diplomacy working group of leading IT experts in his country, added that information revolution presented a unique opportunity to deal with the development deficit in Pakistan through its skilled human resource that could also make significant contributions globally.