Get the Latest News Updates

UN Adopts Pakistan’s Resolution On Islamophobia

Big achievement

UNITED NATIONS   –  The UN General Assembly Tuesday adopted, by consensus, a resolution, introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that proclaims March 15 as International Day to Combat Islamophobia, saying it was aimed at promoting a culture of tolerance ad peace globally.

The resolution was sponsored by 57 members of the OIC, and eight other countries, including China and Russia. Under its terms, the resolution strongly deplores all acts of violence against persons on the basis of their religion or belief and such acts directed against their places of worship, as well as all attacks on and in religious places, sites and shrines that are in violation of international law.

“Islamophobia is a reality,” Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan,  told  the 193-member Assembly, noting that the phenomenon was growing and must be addressed.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan was the first to raise the issue of Islamophobia at the UN in his historic 2019 address to the General Assembly, and had repeatedly called for international attention and efforts to address it.

Today’s resolution invites all member states, relevant organizations of the United Nations system, other international and regional organizations, civil society, private sector and faith-based organizations to observe the international day in an appropriate manner.

After the adoption of the resolution by consensus, several member states hailed the document, but representatives of India, France and the European Union expressed reservations that while religious intolerance was prevalent all over the world, it singled out only Islam and excluded others. In fact, Indian Ambassador T.S. Trimurti complained that the resolution did not cover anti-Hindu phobia, among other religions.

In his introductory remarks, Ambassador Akram said Islamophobia’s manifestations – hate speech, discrimination, and violence against Muslims – were proliferating in several parts of the world.

“Such acts of discrimination, hostility and violence towards Muslim individuals and communities constitute grave violations of their human rights and violate their freedom of religion and belief;  they also cause great anguish within the Islamic world,” the Pakistani envoy said.

Noting the report of UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief that “Since 9/11 terrorist attacks, institutional suspicion and fear of Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim has escalated to epidemic proportions,” he said in such climates of exclusion, fear and distrust, “Muslims often feel stigma, negative stereotyping and shame and a sense that they are ‘suspect communities’ that are being forced to bear collective responsibility for the actions of a small minority.

“The spread of Islamophobia, both in terms of the phenomenon’s momentum and outreach, is particularly alarming these days, for it has emerged as a new form of racism characterized by xenophobia, negative profiling and stereotyping of Muslims,” Ambassador Akram said.

“The rise in hate crimes against Muslims both offline and online, as well as discrimination in education, citizenship, immigration, employment, housing and healthcare sector, among others are well documented. The gender aspect of Islamophobia is also gaining prominence, with girls and women being targeted due to mode of their dress and the general notion that Muslim women are oppressed and thus must be ‘liberated’.”

What indeed is worrisome, the Pakistani envoy said, was that Islamophobia “continues to find strong resonance in political spheres, ultimately leading to the institutionalization of Islamophobia through new legislation and policies such as discriminatory travel bans and visa restrictions”.

“Various academic studies have revealed that Islamophobia is most visible in the media and in the discourse of far-right groups and political parties and groups, who tend to exploit and build on the general fear of Islam for electoral gains.”

In some countries, he said anti-immigration and anti-refugee rhetoric had taken an anti-Muslim overtone and had often become the central theme of political campaigns.

Ambassador Akram voiced grave concern that several media outlets continued to propagate fear and negative stereotypes against Islam and Muslims, notably by acting as a platform for widespread dissemination of anti-Muslim rhetoric.

“Despite its pervasive impacts, Islamophobia remains poorly understood, it is  essential to promote greater information of this phenomena and promote solutions through greater understanding and full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

From the OIC perspective, Ambassador Akram said, the draft resolution served to achieve the following objectives:– Raise international awareness about the growing phenomenon of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred;– Send a clear message that the world opposes all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation; — To promote the message of tolerance, peaceful co-existence and interfaith and cultural harmony among all religions, races and nations;– To demonstrate by commemorating this Day unfettered solidarity with all humanity, convey a strong message of respect for human dignity, and reiterate our common commitment to ‘unity in diversity’. “The objective of observing this Day is about uniting, not dividing,” Ambassador Akram added.’’

PM Imran Khan felicitates Muslim world

Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday congratulated the Muslim world as the United Nations adopted a “landmark resolution” introduced by Pakistan, designating March 15 as International Day to Combat Islamophobia.

Following the adoption of the “landmark” resolution by the United Nations General Assembly introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the OIC countries, the prime minister said, “Our voice against the rising tide of Islamophobia has been heard.” The resolution was sponsored by 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and eight other countries, including China and Russia.

Under its terms, the resolution strongly deplores all acts of violence against persons on the basis of their religion or belief and such acts directed against their places of worship, as well as all attacks on and in religious places, sites and shrines that are in violation of international law.

The prime minister has been regularly speaking up against the rising Islamophobia in his addresses at different forums or through letters to the Muslim world.

 “The UN has finally recognised the grave challenge confronting the world: of Islamophobia, respect for religious symbols & practices & of curtailing systematic hate speech & discrimination against Muslims,” the prime minister remarked on Twitter. “Next challenge is to ensure implementation of this landmark resolution,” he resolved. At the world platforms, including the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Imran Khan has been calling the world to act against Islamophobia and asking the world leaders “to act collectively to counter the growing phenomenon in non-Muslim states”.

In the recent past, the prime minister welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to appoint a special representative to combat Islamophobia, which he termed a “contemporary scourge”.

Imran Khan also recently appreciated Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “emphatic statement” that the freedom of speech could not be a pretext to abuse Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

Opposition will also lose 2023 elections, predicts PM

Prime Minister Imran Khan said Tuesday that the opposition’s no-trust motion against his government would not only doom, but would also pave way for their complete elimination in the upcoming 2023 general elections.

“They have fallen to their own trap. I predict, they will not only fail in their no-trust motion but also lose the 2023 elections,” he stated this while addressing a conference of overseas Pakistanis here.

The prime minister expressed his gratitude to the opposition parties for bringing the no-confidence motion against him in the parliament as it had not only stirred all the ranks and files of his party across the country, but also helped the people realize the inner self centered motives of ‘three stooges’.

The prime minister sarcastically pointed out that the opposition parties had made the people to forget the prices of tomatoes and potatoes.

“Look at the faces of these three stooges; on one side, the people saw Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif, and on the other side, Asif Zardari and Fazlur Rehman. Now all the people are heading towards Islamabad to attend the PTI’s gathering,” he added.

Terming the no-trust move ‘a special favour from Allah Almighty’, he said he was fed up with the opposition parties’ oft-repeated chorus over the fate of his government.

The prime minister said now he was fully focused on ‘these three thieves’ as they did not know the nation. But the nation knew it very well how Nawaz Sharif was pampered by former General Jillani, while Shehbaz Sharif delivered fruits baskets and Zardari assumed leadership of the party by selling tickets.

Imran Khan challenged the opposition parties to rival the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in any sector with performance as they would miserably fail.

In the past, he said, the leadership of three parties had accused one another over corruption and framed graft cases. It was a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, who had named Fazlur Rehman as ‘diesel’ because of minting money through the sale of diesel permits.

“If these leaders have to save the country, the people will prefer drowning with Imran Khan rather than going with them,” he added.

He said the global inflation had hit economies of all the countries alike but in Pakistan, his government was making efforts to reduce the burden of price hike on the masses.

The prime minister, while lauding the contributions of overseas Pakistanis for the country’s economy, said he had close contacts links with them and realized their issues. The expatriates always felt pain when they saw their motherland lagging behind from other countries in terms of progress and development.

They were tormented to experience that their previous leaders lived in palatial houses in expensive areas of London, roamed in luxurious vehicles and enjoyed casinos, he added.

The overseas Pakistanis sent remittances to Pakistan after toiling abroad, but the past rulers plundered their hard earned money to secure their luxurious life style, he said, adding such acts also brought bad name to the country. Two families stashed away billions of dollars in the foreign banks.

The prime minister, in a veiled reference to the Obama-Sharif meeting, said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif kept on trembling with fears that his words might not turn the US president angry.

Such leadership could sell out Pakistan for the sake of their corruption and petty interests, he said and referred to an Indian journalist Burkha Dutt’s book that claimed that Nawaz Sharif held a secret meeting with Indian Prime Minister Modi.

About the Memogate scandal, he said Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani was tasked to convey a message to Washington to save Zardari from the army. Similarly, the objective of the ‘Dawn leaks’ was a futile attempt by Nawaz Sharif to blame the armed forces of Pakistan. Modi had been falsely blaming former army chief general Raheel Sharif whereas Nawaz Sharif was inviting him to marriage ceremonies.

The prime minister expressed that the armed forces of Pakistan were fully capable of defending the country.

During the ten years of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and PML-N rule, he said, about 400 drone attacks were recorded on Pakistan’s territory. They never felt ashamed that Pakistan had been fighting their war and bracing the drone attacks in return.

“Not a single international law allows such act of ‘judge, jury and execution’, the prime minister said, adding due to that war on terror, the country suffered 80,000 casualties, besides 3.5 million people were displaced.

He said he had never been anti to any country, including the US and the UK, because one could not be anti towards the people of any particular country. “You can be against certain policies pursued by a country,” he said while insisting upon his opposition to the US-led war on terror. He further said that he also participated in a demonstration in the US against the invasion of Iraq.

The prime minister said unless India revoked its controversial and unilateral steps of August 5, 2019 on the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), no dialogue could be held.

In India, the Hindutva ideology was being opposed by the learned segments of society, but in the presence of fascists, the people were facing the worst persecution, he added.

Imran Khan, while mentioning his differences with the policies of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, credited him for his bold stance over Pakistan and his efforts for the arrangements of OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) summit in Lahore.

About his government’s efforts to facilitate the overseas Pakistanis, he said they were given the voting rights as being the valuable assets of the country. He had always insisted for their voting rights and participation in the elections.

He also urged the overseas Pakistanis to invest in Pakistan through joint ventures in the industrial sector as the government was offering them an incentive of five-year tax holiday. He also mentioned other steps to facilitate the overseas Pakistanis, including issuance of succession certificates and online banking transactions.

The prime minister challenged his political opponents to come up with any initiative during their past rules to match the performance of PTI. His government, during the last three and a half years, had outperformed the previous regimes in every aspect.

He said exports growth was critical for the economic stability and wealth creation and regretted that other countries had left Pakistan behind in the exports sector.

He said the government had received record remittances due to various incentives whereas amidst the global pandemic, they collected tax to the tune of worth over Rs 6,000 billion.

The prime minister also mentioned success of his government’s policies by embarking upon different socio-economic uplift initiatives and measures to ensure economic turnaround.

Earlier, PTI Secretary General Asad Umar welcomed the overseas Pakistanis from 25 countries of the world, who had attended the conference.

He said during the last few years of PTI’s government, there was a surge in remittances by $ 14.8 billion when compared with the 10 years of PPP and PML-N governments, recording an increase of total $13.4 billion. The country also witnessed $7.5 billion increase in exports, he added.

He said various mega initiatives of the PTI’s government, including economic, social and environmental, had earned global accolades.