FM Qureshi condemns French magazine for reprinting blasphemous caricatures

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday strongly condemned the re-publication of blasphemous caricatures by a French magazine.

In a statement, the foreign minister said that these caricatures have hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims across the world, adding that such acts should not be repeated; rather, those behind them must be held accountable.

Qureshi’s comments came after French weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo said on Tuesday that it was republishing the highly controversial cartoons.

“We have conveyed our concerns to the French government,” Qureshi said, adding that Pakistan is a democratic country which believes in freedom of expression.

“However, freedom of expression does not give license to anybody to hurt the sentiments of others,” Qureshi was quoted as saying by Radio Pakistan.

On Tuesday, the Foreign Office had condemned the French magazine’s decision to reprint the blasphemous caricatures, calling it a “deliberate attempt to offend the sentiments of billions of Muslims”.

“Pakistan condemns in the strongest terms the decision by the French magazine […] to re-publish deeply offensive caricatures,” the Foreign Office had tweeted.

“Such a deliberate act to offend the sentiments of billions of Muslims cannot be justified as an exercise in press freedom or freedom of expression. Such actions undermine the global aspirations for peaceful co-existence as well as social and inter-faith harmony”.

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