Pakistan has welcomed the reported decision by the Denmark government to propose a bill outlawing the burning of the Holy Quran and other holy books.
In a statement, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said this is a step in the right direction. She hoped the step taken by Denmark would culminate in effective legislation to curb the desecration of the Holy Quran and other holy books.
In his interaction with Danish Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, while appreciating the Danish government’s proposed legislation, expressed the hope that the bill, when passed, would create interfaith harmony and bring an end to an environment of hatred amongst people of different religious faiths.
The spokesperson hoped that other countries will emulate and undertake similar steps to outlaw such hateful acts.
She also said Pakistan has always maintained that desecration and burning of holy scriptures constitutes a serious act of religious hatred, which must not be permitted under the guise of freedom of expression, opinion and protest.
As stipulated by international human rights law and called for by the UN Human Rights Council, such provocative acts must be prevented and prohibited through legal means, Ms Baloch stressed.
She also said the recurrent incidents of the Holy Quran’s desecration during the last few months hurt the sentiments of over 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide. Such abhorrent acts intend to create friction among communities and harm inter-faith harmony and mutual respect, she added.
The spokesperson said it is the responsibility of national governments to take all measures necessary to prevent these acts of religious hatred, xenophobia and Islamophobia.