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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday took up with President of UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid the derogatory and offensive remarks made by two senior officials of India’s ruling party BJP against the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

“Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, in a telephone call, apprised the President of UN General Assembly (PGA) Abdulla Shahid, of the derogatory and offensive remarks made by two senior officials of India’s ruling party BJP, against the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him),” Foreign Office said. Noting that such willful and deliberate provocation had deeply hurt the sentiments of billions of Muslims around the world, it added that the foreign minister urged the PGA to take cognizance of this abhorrent development amidst growing hate speech and rising Islamophobia in India.

Referring to the muted response of the Indian leadership on the incident, the foreign minister noted that silence could be taken as complicity, and could lead to further incitement to violence, communal discord and hate incidents.

Noting the UN’s positions on hate speech and Islamophobia, the foreign minister expected that the forum of the United Nations would be utilized for constructive debate among member states, also with a view to redressing this issue that has caused such pain and resentment among the Muslims. “The PGA underscored the important role of the General Assembly and the need for the membership to work together on these issues,” it stated, adding that the foreign minister and the PGA agreed to remain engaged.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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