Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for Muslim-majority countries to band together to lobby Western governments to criminalise the insulting of Islam’s prophet, as negotiations between his government and a far-right anti-blasphemy religious group continue.
In a televised address to the nation from the capital, Islamabad, on Monday, Khan said he would lead a campaign of Muslim-majority countries to “convince” Western countries on the issue of blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.
Khan said they need to explain why this hurts them when in the name of freedom of speech they insult the honour of the prophet
He said when 50 Muslim countries will unite they will launch a trade boycott on them and not buy their goods, that will have an effect.”
Khan’s address came as his government continued to negotiate on Monday with the far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) group, which held days of violent protests last week and abducted several police officers on Sunday as they continued their agitations on the issue of perceived “blasphemy” by the French President Emmanuel Macron.
Since November, the TLP has demanded that Pakistan expel the French ambassador over comments by Macron where he defended a publication’s right to republish caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, an act considered “blasphemous” by some Muslims.