Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

Quran desecration: UNHRC convenes a meeting on Pakistan’s request

Pakistan called for an urgent debate to discuss the alarming surge in premeditated and public acts of religious hatred.

Geneva, 4 July, 2023 (GNP): The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), headquartered in Geneva, has responded to a request from Pakistan by convening an urgent meeting to address the recent incidents of religious hatred and the desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden.

The council, currently in session until 14 July, has decided to modify its agenda to accommodate a crucial debate on the rise of religious hatred later this week.

In response to the rising incidents of religious intolerance and hate crimes, particularly the desecration of the Holy Quran, in several European and other countries, Pakistan called for an urgent debate to address the alarming surge against religious sanctity.

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On Monday, Khalil Hashmi, Pakistan’s ambassador to Geneva, wrote to the president of the Human Rights Council on behalf of the 19 OIC member states.

Hashmi said the “provocative acts” on 28 June had been widely condemned and strongly rejected worldwide. “These unabated incidents demand immediate action by the Human Rights Council,” he added.

However, the issue has drawn the attention of various international bodies to put an end to such despicable acts specifically against the sanctity of the Holy Quran.

“The UN Human Rights Council will hold an urgent meeting to ‘discuss the alarming rise in premeditated and public acts of religious hatred, as manifested by the current desecration of the holy Quran in some European and other countries’,” council spokesman Pascal Sim reported.

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The bureau of the Human Rights Council, currently in session, will determine the date and time for this urgent debate, which will take place this week, he stated.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appealed to the entire nation, including all political parties to participate in protests on Friday, to observe Yaum-i-Taqaddus Quran Day.

Additionally, Pakistan and other OIC members aim to bring international attention to this critical issue, as the incident calls for heightened vigilance, safeguarding religious freedoms, and unequivocal condemnation of acts that stroke religious hatred.