ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday called for inter-faith harmony to deal with the disturbing rise of Islamophobia.
He said this in a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas. The two leaders discussed bilateral relations, the Covid-19 pandemic and the Afghan peace process.
The Foreign Office (FO) said Mr Qureshi expressed concern on the current rise of Islamophobia, racism and hate speeches in Europe.
“He mentioned that denigration of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) through publication of caricatures was hurtful to the Muslim Ummah.
“The growing insensitivities to the sentiments of Muslims across the globe by the proponents of freedom of expression had made minorities in those countries vulnerable,” the FO said.
The foreign minister emphasised the urgent need to promote inter-faith harmony.
The two ministers agreed to continue close and consistent engagement to enhance cooperation in all spheres of shared interests, the FO said.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Qureshi in a telephone conversation with his Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto agreed to advance ties and deepen cooperation.
“The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to expanding bilateral relations especially in the area of trade, investment and support at international forums. It was agreed to continue close engagement to enhance cooperation in all spheres of common interest,” the FO said.
They appreciated the positive developments in bilateral relations and exchanged views on a broad range of subjects, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the Afghan peace process, the situation in occupied Kashmir, and cooperation at multilateral fora, it added.
Finland is an important destination for Pakistani exports as they seek to increase their share in Nordic market, which has the highest per capita purchasing power in Europe. Pakistan, meanwhile, requires Finnish technology, products and knowledge for its development needs.
Foreign Minister Qureshi and Saudi Minister for Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha in a telephone conversation agreed to collaborate for promotion of cooperation in the field of information technology.
They reviewed the current level of cooperation in the digital field.