France summons Pakistani envoy to protest remarks by President Alvi

France summons Pakistani envoy to protest remarks by President Alvi

PARIS/ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs has summoned Pakistan’s envoy to protest remarks link by President Arif Alvi that a French bill cracking down on ‘radical Islam’ stigmatises Muslims.

Addressing a conference on religion on Saturday, Alvi said: “When you see that laws are being changed in favour of a majority to isolate a minority, that is a dangerous precedent.”

Specifically referring to the legislation link drafted after the beheading of a French teacher by a young man over blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Alvi said: “When you insult the Prophet, you insult all Muslims.”

“I urge the political leadership of France not to entrench these attitudes into laws […] You have to bring people together — not to stamp a religion in a certain manner and create disharmony among the people or create bias.”

Pakistan was one of several Muslim countries that saw angry anti-French protests in October over President Emmanuel Macron’s defence of the right to show cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Islamabad does not have an ambassador in France after its last ambassador Moinul Haque was transferred to China in July.

The French foreign ministry said late Monday it had called in Pakistan’s charge d’affaires to mark “our surprise and our disapproval [over Alvi’s remarks], given that the bill contains no discriminatory element.”