Pakistan summons French Ambassador to lodge protest over ‘anti-Islam campaign’

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Shah Mehmood Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday summoned French ambassador to lodge “strong protest” against the publication of blasphemous material and French President Emmanuel Macron’s “anti-Islam” comments, reports Khyber News.

According to a spokesperson for the Foreign Office, a demarche was also handed to the French diplomate. A “strong protest” was also recorded over Macron’s “blasphemous statement” after the caricatures were published, the FO said, adding that it condemned the French president’s statement accusing Muslims of separatism and vowing not to give up on blasphemous caricatures. His comments came in response to the beheading of a teacher, Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old teacher, who was attacked on his way home from the junior high school where he taught in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 40 kilometres northwest of Paris. The teacher had shown cartoons disrespecting the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), according to media reports.

The foreign minister said he will take up the issue in the Organization of Islamic Corporation (OIC) and propose declaring March 15 a “Day of Solidarity” to honour the 2019 Christchurch attack in New Zealand. Previously, the Foreign Office had warned that the “highly disturbing statements by certain politicians justifying such heinous acts under the garb of freedom of expression and equating Islam with terrorism, for narrow electoral and political gains.”

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