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January 16, 2015

Politics and diplomacy of govt in stinking Charlie Hebdo case


January 16, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO), which was quick to have issued on behalf of the president a formal condemnation of recent attack on anti-Islam French magazine Charlie Hebdo, is keeping a mum on the latest campaign of blasphemous work by the same publication against Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
As the National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also issued a statement condemning Charlie Hebdo anti-Islam campaign, no formal protest has been lodged by Pakistan with the French authorities to this respect.
Within hours of the Paris attack, the government chose to send a formal letter on behalf of President Mamnoon Hussain to the French president conveying Pakistan’s strong condemnation to the attack on Charlie Hebdo. Deepest condolences to the government and people of France and the families of those killed were also conveyed by the president of Pakistan.
Foreign Office had formally issued the press release containing the text of President Mamnoon’s letter to the French government. The same letter was also delivered to the French government through diplomatic channels.
Within days after the attack, Charlie Hebdo restarted its anti-Islam campaign and published millions of copies of blasphemous caricatures but there has been no reaction either from the parliament or from the government till Thursday when the National Assembly adopted a resolution and the PM issued a statement condemning French magazine’s work.
This time neither any word of condemnation came from President Mamnoon Hussain nor any letter on his behalf was sent by FO to censure this latest attack on Islam from Paris.
Though belated, still the condemnation from the National Assembly and the prime minister is encouraging. However, it is believed that besides such political initiatives generally meant for domestic politics, the government should aggressively take up through diplomatic channels this issue with the Western capitals.
The National

Assembly resolution calls on the United Nations, the otherwise ineffective Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and the European Union to take decisive steps to stop this media campaign against Islam.
The resolution could only get materialised if the government through its Foreign Office raise this issue at all international forums besides rallying the Muslim world for a united stance on the issue.
Meanwhile, some of the religious political parties have announced to hold peaceful protest demonstrations in different parts of the country to condemn the Charlie Hebdo’s blasphemous work. But there is no combined protest organised as such.
There are some expectations from the prime minister to lead a peaceful protest march to be joined in by leaders of all different political and religious parties to condemn this latest attack on Islam by the West.
However, it is yet to be seen if the prime minister does so for the cause of Islam.

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