French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron
AFP

Pakistan on Monday summoned the French ambassador for lodging a "strong protest" against the publication of "blasphemous" sketches and recent comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron, Dawn reported.

In a statement, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry said that ambassador Marc Barety was handed over a dossier by the special secretary (Europe), Dawn reported.

The ambassador was told about Pakistan's condemnation of the publication of blasphemous sketches and the comments later made by Macron, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution condemning the publication of blasphemous caricatures in France and the "resurgence of Islamophobic acts" in some countries after a noisy session that witnessed the government and opposition delivering fiery speeches against each other.

The recent incidents are set to deteriorate the relations between Pakistan and France as the former from the last few days had chided the French leader over his remarks in the aftermath of the killing of a teacher in Paris after he had shown cartoons of the Prophet during a class he was leading on free speech.

The European leader pledged to fight "Islamist separatism", which he said was threatening to take control in some Muslim communities around France.

Macron remarks did not go well with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan who slammed the French President, saying that he has "chosen to deliberately provoke Muslims" Taking to Twitter, Khan said, "Hallmark of a leader is he unites human beings, as Mandela did, rather than dividing them. This is a time when Pres Macron could have put healing touch and denied space to extremists rather than creating further polarisation and marginalisation that inevitably leads to radicalisation." "By attacking Islam, clearly without having any understanding of it, President Macron has attacked and hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims in Europe and across the world." Speaking at a press conference, Special Representative of the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi said the government wanted legislation to be conducted at the UN level which would criminalise blasphemy against all religions and sacred personalities.

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