Offensive caricatures: OIC asked to initiate legal action against French magazine, says FO

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has recommended that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) initiate legal action seeking an apology from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdoafter the publication of blasphemous caricatures.

The Prime Minister’s Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has written to the OIC secretary general suggesting steps that could be taken against the magazine, foreign ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said on Tuesday. “Pakistan strongly condemns the publication of blasphemous caricatures in the French magazine,” she added.

Aslam said the president and the prime minister strongly condemned the publication, which has caused great offence to Muslims by hurting their sentiments and religious sensibilities. The National Assembly and Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee have passed resolutions condemning the publication as well.

“We believe that freedom of expression should not be misused as a means to attack or hurt public sentiments or religious beliefs,” Aslam stressed. “This is an attempt to divide peoples and civilisations. There is a need to promote harmony among peoples and communities instead of reinforcing stereotypes and making people alienated in their own countries.”

Muslims across the globe have criticised Charlie Hebdo for printing the caricatures days after the magazine’s offices were attacked by two gunmen in Paris earlier this month.

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