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PM Imran first Muslim leader who highlights Islamophobia at UNGA: Qureshi
March 15, 2022

(FILE PHOTO)

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was the first Muslim leader to raise the issue of Islamophobia at the UN in his maiden address to the UN General Assembly in 2019.

The Foreign Minister said the Prime Minister has since been regularly advocating the need to effectively combat the scourge of Islamophobia at various regional and international forums.

In his message pertaining to the declaration of March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, the Foreign Minister said the resolution reflects the sentiments of more than 1.5 billion Muslims all around the world.

He said it is a matter of great satisfaction and pride for Pakistan to have steered this initiative under the leadership and guidance of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

It is pertinent to mention here that the 47th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, held in Niamey, Niger, in November 2020, unanimously adopted a resolution initiated by Pakistan for the designation of 15 March as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia. Over the past year, Pakistan, together with other Islamic countries, pursued an extensive diplomatic process with UN Member States.

The adoption of this resolution comes at a time when hate speech, discrimination and violence against Muslims are proliferating in several parts of the world including in our neighbourhood. It is on vivid display in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Islamophobia today is manifested in negative profiling by security agencies, stigmatization, deliberate vandalizing of Islamic symbols and holy sites, killings by cow vigilantes, discriminatory laws and policies, ban on hijab, attacks on mosques, pronouncements by far-right parties that call for expulsion and even “genocide” of Muslims, anti-Muslim migrant bias, and attacks on the dignity of Muslim women.

The FM said Pakistan will continue to advance international efforts to protect individuals against xenophobia, intolerance, discrimination, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, violence, incitement to violence and hate crimes based on religion or belief.