Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has lashed out at political and religious parties in the country for misusing religion for their own personal gains.
“In our country, it is a great misfortune that many times our political parties and religious parties use Islam wrongly and use it such that they deal damage to their own country.
“So I am saddened that many times this love for the Holy Prophet and Islam is misused. Does the government not worry about this? That when there is disrespect of Holy Prophet’s honour then aren’t we pained?” he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement comes amid raging violence by protestors of the recently proscribed organisation Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) has left cities paralysed and claimed lives of locals and security personnel.
The TLP’s main demand is release of their leader Saad Hussain Rizvi, who was arrested hours after he announced a march against the government, demanding immediate expulsion of the French Ambassador and severing of ties with France due to the blasphemous cariacatures of Prophet Mohammad and the statement by French President Emmanuel Macron on freedom of expression.
The TLP claimed that several of its protestors were shot dead by security forces, while it took at least 11 policemen hostage after an attack on a police station in Lahore. The officials were later released after negotiations with the government.
“Violent protests in Pakistan will make no difference to the country where the blasphemous act has occurred,” said PM Imran Khan, adding that such actions did not benefit Islam in any way.
He said that he is in contact with other Muslim leaders to join together and put forward a case of Prophet Mohammad’s honour at international forums, such as the European Union and the United Nations.
“When we begin a campaign by bringing together all Muslim countries, it will make a difference and change will come in the West. Otherwise, we will continue vandalising the country and it will make no difference to the Western world,” he said.
Khan also demanded the governments of the western countries to “penalise those, who deliberately indulge in such abuse and hate under guise of freedom of speech clearly lack moral sense and courage to apologize to the 1.3 billion Muslims for causing this hurt”.
“We demand an apology from these extremists,” he asserted.
“I also call on Western governments who have outlawed any negative comment on the holocaust to use the same standards to penalise those deliberately spreading their message of hate against Muslim by abusing out Prophet (PBUH),” he added.
Imran Khan also maintained that his government will not allow anyone to challenge the writ of the state through violence and attacking public and the law enforcing agencies, asserting that “no one is above the law and the Constitution”.