Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has urged the United Nations General Assembly to declare an “International Day to Combat Islamophobia” and build a resilient coalition to end the scourge.
Virtually addressing the meeting of United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, he also called for declaring willful provocations and incitement to hate and violence as universally outlawed.
The Foreign Minister said that enormity of this problem continues to grow, partly by a rise in populism, and partly by mainstreaming of contempt through unregulated social media platforms.
He said freedom of expression does not grant the freedom to insult or hurt others. He said most worrisome is the State sponsorship of violence on the basis of religion or belief.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said today Islamophobia is unmistakable in the manifestos of far-right and neo-fascist parties.
He said while the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations has done commendable work over the years, its job is far from over.
The sounds of “Clash of Civilizations” still reverberate and we are witnessing global resurgence in intolerance, discrimination, racism, hate speech and violence on the basis of religious beliefs.
He said Pakistan remains committed to promoting religious tolerance, understanding and cooperation at home and abroad.
He said a recent manifestation of this commitment is the opening of Kartarpur Corridor, the world’s largest Gurdwara, allowing easy access to our Sikh brothers from the neighborhood and all across the world to practice their religious rites.
Meanwhile, talking to a private news channel, the Foreign Minister said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects would benefit Afghanistan and the entire region.
He said peace in Afghanistan and CPEC would bring prosperity for the people of whole region.
Commenting on trade for Afghanistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that markets would be established at Pak-Afghan borders to promote business activities in the area.