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Pakistan envoy calls for concrete actions against rising tide of Islamophobia

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has reiterated its call for strengthening legal and judicial framework for addressing the rising phenomenon of Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslims globally.

Addressing the 5th International Seminar of the OIC Independent Human Rights Commission on Islamophobia at Istanbul, Pakistan’s Ambassador in Turkey Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi said the negative phenomenon undermines basic human rights of millions of Muslims across the globe.

He underscored that freedom of expression should not be used as a pretext to disguise racism, incitement to hatred, institutionalised discrimination as well as a vested campaigns to ridicule religions, religious symbols and personalities.

Drawing attention to Islamophobia in India, Ambassador Qazi said that the report of the OIC Observatory against Islamophobia has pointed out that Muslims in India are facing systematic discrimination, persecution and vigilante attacks by extremist organisations, under the patronage of the ruling party.

He added that the findings of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also expressed concern at the wave of Hindutva, and use of force by Indian occupation forces to malign the just struggle of Kashmiris for their right to self-determination.

Ambassador Qazi said that as a member of the OIC, Pakistan continues to play its due role by taking necessary initiatives against Islamophobia at the international level.

He informed that Pakistan’s persistent and proactive diplomatic outreach to the Dutch government as well as the international community recently helped in the cancellation of the blasphemous caricature competition, which was being organised by a Dutch parliamentarian.

At the conclusion of the seminar, a declaration was issued that expressed concern at situations of foreign occupation in Palestine and Jammu and Kashmir as well as incidents of Islamophobia globally.

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