Qureshi terms Dutch contest’s cancellation ‘great moral victory’

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  • FM says Pakistani govt protested against blasphemous caricatures contest on major world forums 

 

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday called the cancellation of blasphemous caricatures in the Netherlands a “great moral victory for the Muslims Ummah”.

Addressing a press conference with Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s (TLP) Pir Afzal Qadri, he said that the issue was taken up at major forums by the PTI government.

Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders had announced on Thursday that he was cancelling his plans to hold the blasphemous caricatures contest, against which TLP was leading a rally to Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.

Geert had stated on his Twitter account that he was cancelling the contest as it could pose the danger of violence against innocent people.

In a published statement he said he would never personally stop his campaign against Islam but the risk to innocents, and of attacks on the Netherlands, stemming from the proposed contest, was too great.

“My point about the intolerant nature of Islam has been proved again by this,” he had said.

PM CALLS OUT TLP RALLY: 

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan had called for restraint as TLP’s protest rally, led by firebrand cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, was inching closer to the federal capital to protest against the blasphemous caricatures.

In a video message, the premier had said that he would move the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) in an effort to raise the issue of blasphemous caricatures in the United Nations (UN).

West did not understand that the perspective Muslims had towards religion was quite different from the one they had.

“The matter of blasphemous caricature is an issue for every Muslim and we need to tell the West that they cannot hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims around the globe,” he said.

PM Khan also said that after bringing all Muslims on the same page, a protest would be recorded against the handful of people who deliberately hurt the religious sentiments of the Muslims, and added that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had already started contacting his counterparts across the Muslim world in this regard.

The PM, however, stopped short of asking the TLP to cancel their protest.

Hundreds of demonstrators had left from Data Darbar in Lahore on Wednesday, spent the night in Gujrat and have been on the move since morning. They were temporarily held back in Serai Alamgir where containers had been placed to block routes.

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