See More on Facebook

News

Muslim countries have failed to tackle matter of blasphemous content: Imran Khan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan says absence of an international policy against generation of blasphemous content is a “collective failure” on part of Muslim countries.


Written by

Updated: August 28, 2018

Addressing the Senate for the first time as prime minister, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said his government will raise the matter before the United Nations (UN), adding: “However, I do not think that would do much.”

The Senate had passed a resolution to bring the UN’s attention to the matter regarding the announcement by the leader of Dutch Freedom Party and Parliamentarian Geert Wilders to hold a competition of blasphemous caricatures. The Foreign Office (FO) last week had called the charge d’affaires of the Netherlands to record a protest against the announcement by Wilders.

“Our government will raise the matter in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and ask the Muslim countries to come up with a collective policy that could then be brought up at international forums.”

“This should have been done years ago,” PM Khan said while giving the example of the Holocaust and how four European countries have jail sentences for “anyone who misquotes the figures of Holocaust. That is because they realise that this is something that hurts the sentiments of the Jewish community.”

“We need a similar policy for this matter so that people do not repeatedly hurt our sentiments.”

‘Raising the importance of the Senate’

Discussing his reason for being in the Senate, PM Khan said that he and his ministers would continue to raise the importance of the Senate and the National Assembly by making sure that government representation is present in all sessions.

“It is up to the government to raise the importance of these institutions,” he said, announcing that his government would set a precedent of “question time”, an exercise where the prime minister will be present on the floor of the House to answer questions regarding government policies.

“I have told the speaker to devise the rules for this and this practice will begin soon,” the prime minister said, stressing on the need for accountability of leaders.

Austerity drive

Speaking about his government’s efforts to minimise overall spending, PM Khan said: “I am here today to convince the senators […] to take part in the austerity drive launched by the government.”

“We are trying that all governmental expenses are minimised; this will only bring in minimal saving, but it will send out the message to taxpayers that we care about where their money is spent,” the prime minister said.

“This country is amongst the top five most charitable countries and we are also among countries that pay the least amount of tax — that is because people have not trusted past governments,” PM Khan said, while adding that the austerity drive is an effort to change that.

“The ruling elite should show by example that peoples’ tax money is being spent on them,” the prime minister said.

“On one hand we are cutting our costs and on the other, we are looking for ways to increase our revenue, including reforming the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR),” PM Khan said while adding that other such measures would be discussed in the parliament soon.

Khan had announced the new government’s plan to cut down costs in his first speech to the nation as the prime minister.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Dawn
About the Author: Dawn is Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

News

Is Kim Jong-un considering ‘new way’?

Post Hanoi summit failure, speculation grows on what new mode of defense may be. Following the failure to reach an agreement at last month’s summit between the US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, tension has been building between the two sides, threatening the negotiations that they have built over the past year. While the breakdown of their second meeting did not lead to a war of words, North Korea said it was considering suspending talks with the United States, while Washington accused Pyongyang of “not doing what it needs to do.” The communist leader warned in his New Year’s speech this year he would have to find a new way for defending the North if the US did not keep its promises. As the US appears to have no intention of taking the “commensurate measures” the North seeks for the denuclearization steps it has taken, speculation has grown as to whether


By The Korea Herald
March 20, 2019

News

South Korea says punishing women for abortion unconstitutional

The decision was made by the country’s National Human Rights Commission. The National Human Rights Commission of Korea has delivered its opinion to the Constitutional Court that criminal penalties for women who undergo abortion, as well as doctors who perform them, are unconstitutional. The current law on abortion violates the right to self-determination, among others, the rights panel said Monday. Marking the first time the rights panel has ever expressed an official position on the highly volatile issue, it sent its statement to the court last week ahead of next month’s ruling on the constitutionality of the nation’s abortion laws.


By The Korea Herald
March 19, 2019

News

Dialogue important after India-Pakistan crisis

As India and Pakistan wake up to the real possibilities of war, it is time to give dialogue another chance. Although the 2019 India-Pakistan standoff may have passed its immediate intensity, it is clear that the entire episode has left a slew of new worries for policymakers all over the world. It is crucial that lessons are learnt and crisis-handling procedures between the two countries put in place. Because there is no doubt that Pakistan and India were perilously close to war. In a digital age, resonating with the red noise of alternative facts fuelled by ultra-nationalisms, it was clear that the Modi regime’s need to bolster its flagging electoral ratings before an election took the Indian act of border incursion into Pakistan’s Ba


By Dawn
March 15, 2019

News

Lotte seeks to exit China after investing $7.2b

The super conglomerate has been aggressively expanding throughout Asia in recent years. Despite its hefty investments in China over the years, Lotte Group appears to be seeking a complete departure from the market that was once highly lucrative, after failing to recover from a boycott campaign which was instigated by diplomatic bickering between Seoul and Beijing. The retail conglomerate was the main target of the diplomatic feud between China and South Korea over the deployment of an anti-missile Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in 2017 on its golf course at the Lotte Skyhill Country Club in Seongju County. Despite some signs of thawing last year, Lotte continued to face hardships amid already worsened public sentiments, increased competitiveness of local brands and the popularity of e-commerce. Since entering the Chinese market with Lotte Mart store in 2004, the group has invested 8 t


By The Korea Herald
March 14, 2019

News

India-Pakistan escalation gives edge to Modi in re-election bid

We take a look at the factors that will influence the upcoming Indian elections. The adage that no Indian election is fought solely on economic issues has hit home with a vengeance across political parties as the countdown begins for the 2019 General Election in India scheduled for April-May. In the aftermath of the 14 February terrorist attack on para-military forces in Pulwama, India-administered Kashmir, which was claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammad and New Delhi’s unleashing of airstrikes against the terror outfit’s largest training camp deep inside Pakistani territory in response, electoral strategies are hurriedly being redrawn. What seemed to have been shaping as a poll campaign around bread-and-butter issues has now been infused with a strong dose of national security. Terrorism emanating from Pakistan, relations between India’s Hindu/Indic majority and its minority communities, and var


By Asia News Network
March 12, 2019

News

India going to polls over five weeks from April 11

The world’s largest democracy prepares to go to polls with select issues in mind. India will hold elections over five weeks starting on April 11 involving some 900 million voters in what is the world’s largest democratic exercise that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is seeking another term, called a “festival of democracy”. Mr Modi, whose humble origin as a tea seller is often highlighted, is pitted against Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who comes from a powerful political dynasty, and a host of other regional leaders like Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress. Opposition parties have been trying to put up a united front against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Election Commission on Sunday (March 11) announced that polling dates for the 543 parliamentary seats will take place in seven phases starting on April 11, and ending on May 19. Counting for these seven phases will


By The Straits Times
March 11, 2019