PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday passed a resolution condemning the display of blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) on government building in France and French President Macron’s anti-Islamic statements in the holy Islamic month of Rabiul Awal when the prophet was born.

“It’s the duty of every Muslim to defend the honour of the Prophet [PBUH]. Under no circumstances can we remain silent on the issue,” said the resolution, which was unanimously passed by the house.

Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani chaired the sitting.

The resolution said the surfacing of blasphemous sketches in the western countries time and again had been a cause of religion grievance and offence in the Muslim world.

Passes resolution asking govt to push for international legislation against acts hurtful to faithful

It added that the European Court of Justice had decreed that such an act didn’t constitute freedom of expression and instead, it hurt the feelings and faith of the believers of a certain religion, so they should be banned.

“This house implores the federal government to initiate a movement at the diplomatic level and raise voice at all forums of the United Nations for legislation against acts that hurt feelings of the faithful,” it said, adding that the issue contributes to Islmophobia the world over.

The resolution appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to request the Facebook management not to post and publicise blasphemous sketches on the website.

The resolution demanded that a ban like the one on inviolability of the Holocaust be imposed on Islampophobic material on social media.

Member of the opposition Mutahidda Majlis-i-Amal MPA Inayatullah Khan said the federal government should declare the French ambassador to Islamabad persona non-grata.

He said the French president was intentionally instigating the people against Islam and Muslims.

The opposition lawmaker said the repeated publication of blasphemous material in European countries had become intolerable for Muslims.

Earlier, special assistant to the chief minister on information Kamran Bangash responding to a point of order raised by Opposition Leader Akram Khan Durrani said the government had decided to extend the contract of 1,122 adhoc doctors for six more months.

He said those doctors were recruited on contractual basis for a period of one year to handle the pandemic.

The chief minister’s aide said the services of contractual doctors couldn’t be regularised.

The opposition leader called for the regularisation of ad hoc doctors saying one of those medical practitioners laid down his life during pandemic.

Hafiz Isamuddin of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl criticised the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority over the slow processing of applications by people of five merged tribal districts for financial aid.

He said thousands of people, whose small businesses were damaged during military operations in tribal districts, especially in South Waziristan, had submitted applications for financial aid around two years ago.

The lawmaker said the Smeda had so far processed only few of those applications.

He alleged that the deputy commissioners sought bribe from applicants for the verification of documents and that was one of the reasons for delay in the payment of grants to the affected people.

Mr Hafiz Isamuddin said several donors, including World Bank, had provided funds for the scheme.

He also demanded that the government simply and expedite verification process to compensate the affected people for damaged houses.

Labour minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai asked the lawmaker to produce valid documents to prove corruption allegation against deputy commissioners and said strict action would be taken if the allegation turned out to be true.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2020