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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday lodged strong protest with the Netherlands over its decision to hold a competition of blasphemous caricatures.

The announcement about the event was made by Leader of the Dutch Freedom Party and parliamentarian, Geert Wilders.

The Charge’d Affaires of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was summoned to the Foreign Office to lodge the protest. According to an official statement, the FO conveyed its deep concern at the deliberate and malicious attempt to defame Islam.

The federal cabinet at its meeting also strongly condemned the “abominable and reprehensible plan”.

According to the statement, the ambassador of Pakistan in The Hague was instructed to forcefully raise the issue with the Dutch government along with the ambassadors of OIC member states.

Pakistan’s Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in New York and Geneva were also directed to take up the matter with the UN secretary general, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other UN related bodies and procedures, the statement added.

The FO said the former foreign minister had already written to the OIC secretary general seeking his intervention in the matter, who in turn wrote to the Dutch foreign minister on behalf of the OIC, protesting against the event.

The matter would also be discussed in the forthcoming meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York next month.

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2018