ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday appreciated President Putin for his statement that disrespecting the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) did not count as an expression of artistic freedom but a “violation of religious freedom.”
The Prime Minister held a telephonic conversation with President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
The PM said that he had been regularly highlighted the appalling rise in Islamophobia and associated hatred in his addresses to the UN General Assembly, pointing towards its serious ramifications.
Both leaders agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in different areas, increase high-level exchanges and remain in close contact on matters relating to Afghanistan, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.
Prime minister Khan underscored that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was pivotal for regional stability. Afghanistan was facing dire humanitarian and economic challenges and support of the international community to the people of Afghanistan at this critical juncture remained vitally important, he stressed.
He also underscored the importance of release of Afghanistan’s financial assets for addressing the dire needs of the Afghan people.
The two leaders fondly recalled their conversations during last year and exchanged views on bilateral cooperation as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest, the press release said.
The PM underscored that Pakistan’s bilateral relationship with Russia was on an upward trajectory, with an increased focus on trade and economic ties and energy cooperation.
He reiterated the government’s resolve for early realization of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project.
The Prime Minister said that he looked forward to President Putin’s visit to Pakistan as well as his own visit to Russia at an appropriate time.
Separately, the Prime Minister, in a series of tweets, said that he lauded the Russian President for his emphatic statement regarding freedom of speech which could not be used as pretext to disrespect the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
“Just spoke to President Putin primarily to express my appreciation for his emphatic statement that freedom of speech could not be a pretext to abuse our Holy Prophet (PBUH). He is the first Western leader to show empathy and sensitivity to Muslim sentiment for their beloved Holy Prophet (PBUH),” he posted on his twitter handle.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022