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Dutch diplomat summoned to lodge protest against blasphemous caricatures

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan government on Monday lodged protest with Netherlands over a Dutch politician’s announcement of holding a contest of blasphemous caricatures.

“The charge d’affaires of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was summoned to the Foreign Office today and a strong protest was lodged on the announcement by leader of the Dutch Freedom Party and Parliamentarian Geert Wilders to hold a competition of blasphemous caricatures,” a statement released by Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The statement added that Pakistan expressed deep concernĀ  this deliberate and malicious attempt to defame Islam.

“The federal cabinet, in its meeting held today, strongly condemned the 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,” said the Foreign Office.

The statement added that former foreign minister had written to 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,” the statement concluded.

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