Dutch lawmaker cancels planned anti-Islam cartoon contest

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AMSTERDAM: Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders said on Thursday he was cancelling plans to hold a contest for cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Mohammad.

Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders says he has canceled a planned Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest following  threats and concerns other people could be put at risk.

The planned contest sparked angry protests in Pakistan as physical depictions of the prophet are forbidden in Islam and deeply offensive to Muslims.

Information Minister

Fawad Chaudhry, the Minister for Information, termed the decision a victory of the the  nation, saying  diplomatic efforts were made on the directives of PM Khan to stop the planned competition.

Foreign Minister

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, along with TLP leaders, held a media talk, requesting  them to call off their protest and disperse peacefully following the cancellation of the blasphemous contest.

The foreign minister congratulated the nation and the Muslim Ummah on their moral victory and termed the cancellation of the contest a victory for Pakistan on the diplomatic front.

Soon after the announcement of the cancellation of the contest, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) called off the protest  it had launched against a plan for a blasphemous caricatures competition.

Several thousand activists gathered in the eastern city of Lahore for the demonstration demanding for the expulsion of the Dutch ambassador.

On Monday, taking strong stance on the issue, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the absence of an international policy against the generation of blasphemous content is a “collective failure” on part of the Muslim countries, adding that it is not the issue of a few people, it hurts the sentiments of the community of over a billion Muslims across the globe.

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.

On the other hand, the Foreign Office (FO) last week had called the charge d’affaires of the Netherlands to record a protest in this regard.

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