WEB DESK: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Thursday it was a great moral victory of the entire Muslim Ummah that the Dutch anti-Islam damned lawmaker cancelled plans to hold a contest of blasphemous cartoons.
While addressing a news conference, Mr. Qureshi said the new government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf raised the issue at all fora straight away after assuming power.
He asserted that Parliament unanimously passed a resolution condemning the plans to hold the blasphemous caricature contest and the minority members were at the forefront in condemning this heinous act.
The Foreign Minister said he discussed the matter with his counterparts from important Capitals and it was agreed to use the platform of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to present a unanimous stance and seek an end to repeat of such sacrilegious acts.
He also recalled his phone call to the Dutch Foreign Minister and said he was informed that act of an individual should not be allowed to hurt the sentiments of billions of Muslims across the globe.
However, he attributed the success to the blessings of Allah and said the cancellation has averted a major crisis. He said the Pakistani government fully endorses the sentiments of every Muslim, the religious scholars and Ulema.
The TLP leadership later announced to end of the ‘Long March’, of thousands of people that had entered Rawalpindi on Thursday night, from Lahore.
Earlier in the day, FM Qureshi took to Twitter to announce the cancellation of the blasphemous caricature while crediting the federal government diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue, after God.
By the grace of Allah Almighty, the blasphemous cartoon contest issue has been resolved due to effective diplomatic efforts of the Federal Government. We must all work together to deny extremists on all sides the space and opportunity to spread hatred.
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) August 30, 2018
He also thanked the Foreign Office team for their exceptional team work which brought about great results for whole Muslim Ummah.
Thank you to the Foreign Office team for their excellent team work. The diplomatic efforts achieved a great result for the Nation & Muslims across the world.
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) August 31, 2018
Earlier on Aug. 30, Prime Minister Imran Khan shared a video message on all social media vowing to lodge a strong protest at the international fora against the blasphemous caricatures of prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and also urged whole Muslim world to strongly raise this sensitive issue at the United Nations from the platform of Organization of Islamic Cooperation in order to resolve it for good.
PM Imran Khan takes a strong stance on the issue of the blasphemous caricatures that have hurt sentiments across the Muslim world. He categorically stated that it is not the issue of a few people,it hurts the sentiments of the community of over a billion Muslims across the globe. pic.twitter.com/tznpIvf4wE
— PTI (@PTIofficial) August 30, 2018
In 2005, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published cartoons of Prophet Mohammad that sparked a wave of protest across the Muslim world and several attempts to kill either its editor or cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.
Ten years later, a pair of Islamists stormed the offices of magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, known for publishing satirical cartoons of the Prophet, and killed 12 people.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte last week defended Wilders’ right to stage the contest, saying it fell within the boundaries of freedom of speech, but also stressed the plan was not a government initiative.
Wilders’ anti-Islam Freedom Party became the second largest in the Netherlands at last year’s general elections, but is not part of the government. Wilders had planned to hold the contest in his party’s offices in the parliament building.