In call with Putin, PM Imran lauds Russian President for taking stand against Islamophobia

04:00 PM | 17 Jan, 2022
In call with Putin, PM Imran lauds Russian President for taking stand against Islamophobia

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan said Monday that Russia's President Vladimir Putin is the first Western leader to show sensitivity towards Muslim sentiments for their beloved Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he spoke to Russian President Putin primarily to express gratitude for his "emphatic statement that freedom of speech could not be a pretext to abuse our Prophet PBUH."

Appreciating the earlier statement of Russia's president that" insulting the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is not "freedom of expression", the PM said that President Putin is the first western leader to show empathy and sensitivity towards Muslim world sentiments.

In a telephonic conversation with the Russian President, Prime Minister Imran Khan said he has been regularly highlighting the appalling rise in Islamophobia and associated hatred in his addresses to the UN General Assembly, pointing towards its serious ramifications.

The prime minister underscored that Pakistan's bilateral relationship with Russia is on an upward trajectory, with an increased focus on trade and economic ties and energy cooperation.

He reiterated the government's resolve for early realization of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project.

Both leaders agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in different areas, increase high-level exchanges, and remain in close contact on matters relating to Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister underscored that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is pivotal for regional stability.

He said Afghanistan is facing dire humanitarian and economic challenges and support of the international community to the people of Afghanistan at this critical juncture remained vitally important.

The Prime Minister also underscored the importance of release of Afghanistan's financial assets for addressing the dire needs of the Afghan people.

Imran Khan said he looks forward to President Putin's visit to Pakistan as well as his own visit to Russia at an appropriate time.

Earlier, according to Russian news agency TASS, Putin had said that insulting Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) does not count as freedom of expression.

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