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August 21, 2018

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Blasphemous caricatures: Foreign Office summons Netherlands envoy

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office Monday summoned the chargé d'affaires of the Netherlands and conveyed him Pakistan’s deep concern over a deliberate and malicious attempt to defame Islam by organizing a competition of blasphemous sketches.

The Dutch Freedom Party and Parliamentarian Geert Wilders is behind the competition. In a statement, the Foreign Office said the federal cabinet in its meeting held on Monday strongly condemned this “abominable and reprehensible plan”.

“The Ambassador of Pakistan in The Hague has been instructed to forcefully raise the issue with the Dutch government along with ambassadors of OIC member states. Pakistan’s Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in New York and Geneva have also been directed to take up the matter with the UN Secretary General, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other UN related bodies and procedures,” the statement added.

Former foreign minister had written to the OIC Secretary General also seeking his leadership in this matter, who in turn has written to the Dutch foreign minister on behalf of the OIC, protesting against this abominable event.

The matter would also be discussed in the forthcoming meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the 73rd session of United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2018.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will lead the Pakistan delegation to this meeting and raise the issue of blasphemous caricatures. The Government of Pakistan would continue to vigorously pursue the matter with the Dutch government and raise it at the relevant international fora from preventing this abhorrent act taking place.

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