Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the absence of an international policy against the generation of blasphemous content is a “collective failure” on part of the Muslim countries.
Addressing the Senate for the first time as Prime Minister, Khan on Monday said his government will raise the matter before the UN, adding: “However, I do not think that would do much,” Dawn news reported.
The Senate had passed a resolution to bring the UN's attention to the matter regarding the announcement by the leader of Dutch Freedom Party and Parliamentarian Geert Wilders to hold a competition of blasphemous caricatures. Pakistan's Foreign Office last week had called the charge d'affaires of the Netherlands to record a protest against the announcement by Mr Wilders.
“Our government will raise the matter in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and ask the Muslim countries to come up with a collective policy that could then be brought up at international forums,” the Prime Minister said.
“This should have been done years ago,” he said while giving the example of the Holocaust and how four European countries have jail sentences for “anyone who misquotes the figures of Holocaust. That is because they realise that this is something that hurts the sentiments of the Jewish community”.
“We need a similar policy for this matter so that people do not repeatedly hurt our sentiments.”
Discussing his reason for being in the Senate, PM Khan said that he and his ministers would continue to raise the importance of the Senate and the National Assembly by making sure that government representation is present in all sessions.
Speaking about his government's efforts to minimise overall spending, PM Khan said: "I am here today to convince the senators [...] to take part in the austerity drive launched by the government."