Pakistan summons Norwegian envoy to protest desecration of Holy Quran

Updated November 23, 2019

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The FO urged the Norwegian authorities to bring those responsible for the act to justice. — Dawn.com/File
The FO urged the Norwegian authorities to bring those responsible for the act to justice. — Dawn.com/File

The Foreign Office on Saturday summoned the ambassador of Norway to convey the "deep concern" of the government and people of Pakistan over an incident of desecration of the Holy Quran in the Norwegian city of Kristiansand.

During the meeting, Pakistan’s condemnation of the action was reiterated, a statement issued by the FO said.

"It was underscored that such actions hurt the sentiments of 1.3 billion Muslims around the world, including those in Pakistan," the press release said, adding that such actions could not be justified in the name of "freedom of expression".

An anti-Islam rally in Kristiansand had turned violent last week after its leader attempted to set fire to a copy of the Quran despite warnings from police officials.

Videos that surfaced on social media showed a Muslim youth jumping over a fence and kicking the person burning the holy book. Police then intervened and took the anti-Islam protester and the Muslim youth into custody.

The incident drew nationwide condemnation, with many Pakistanis praising the youth as a hero for defending the Quran.

According to the statement, the FO urged the Norwegian authorities to bring those responsible for the act to justice and to "prevent the recurrence of any such incident in the future".

The ambassador of Pakistan in Oslo has also been instructed to convey Pakistan’s protest and deep concern over the incident to the Norwegian authorities, the FO added.