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PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Thursday asked the federal government to pressure the Dutch government to cancel a blasphemous cartoon competition in the country and said if Amsterdam showed stubbornness, then Islamabad should severe diplomatic relations with it.

The house condemned the contest by unanimously adopting a resolution in the session chaired by Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan.

PTI member Fazal Elahi tabled the resolution signed by four other lawmakers.

The resolution said the Netherlands was going to hold a competition of the caricatures of Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and thus, hurting the religious sentiments of the world’s over one billion Muslims.

Passes resolution asking Islamabad to sever ties with Amsterdam in case of stubbornness

“The provincial assembly asks the KP government to recommend to the federal government to summon the Dutch ambassador to the Foreign Office and seek the cancelation of the competition and if Amsterdam ignores the request, then Islamabad should severe diplomatic relations with it,” it read.

The resolution said ironically, a society, which called itself the champion of the freedom of expression and human rights, forgot about human rights whenever a matter concerning Muslims cropped up.

It added that the publication of blasphemous cartoons hurt the feelings of Muslims and sparked anger in the Muslim world.

Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal member Inayatullah Khan proposed amendment to the resolution for inclusion of the expulsion of Dutch ambassador and the boycott of Dutch products.

However, the treasury members opposed the amendment and said the resolution had already asked the government to end diplomatic ties with Netherlands if the blasphemous sketch competition wasn’t cancelled.

The house passed another resolution seeking end to excessive power outages in different parts of the province through improvement of the capability of power transmission lines.

The resolution was moved by ANP parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak, who said the power cuts had badly affected life and commercial activities in the province.

He said the province produced cheap hydel electricity but got power supply at exorbitant rate in an act of sheer injustice with the local residents.

Mr Babak said the excessive power cuts had stressed out the people of the province.

He said the people collected donations to repair faulty transformers and other installations as the Wapda didn’t do the job.

The resolution asked the provincial government to take up the issue of power outages with the federal government and improve the capability of transmission lines as a corrective measure.

The session was called to pass a resolution for allowing the Election Commission of Pakistan to use the assembly hall as the polling station for the Sept 4 presidential election.

A total of 112 member of the KP Assembly are likely to cast vote in the election.

The house has 74 members of the PTI, 13 of the MMA, eight of the ANP, six of the PML-N, five of the Pakistan Peoples Party, one of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, and four independents.

The chair later read out the governor’s message for the session’s prorogation.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2018