[Diplomatic Win] UNGA adopts Pakistan-sponsored resolution on respect for religion despite opposition from EU, India

The resolution received a majority of 90 votes, while none voted against it, with 52 abstentions.

Even after opposition from India, European Union (EU), and other Western countries, the UN General Assembly has adopted a Pakistan and Philippine sponsored resolution on inter-religious dialogue. This is a major diplomatic win for Pakistan. The resolution emphasizes the utmost need to respect ‘sacred religious symbols’.

The resolution received a majority of 90 votes, while none voted against it, with 52 abstentions. Pakistan has taken a stern stance against the recent printing of Prophet Muhammad (SAWW). PM Imran Khan bravely spoke against Islamophobia and called for respect for all religions.

“Facing strong opposition from the powerful western bloc mainly based on freedom of expression, the Pakistan Mission worked hard to rally the OIC [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] and other developing countries to garner support for the inclusion of new elements in the resolution,” APP reported.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Munir Akram, referred to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts against Islamophobia and blasphemy.

“Ambassador Akram also emphasized that the deliberate “vilification and negative stereotyping of adherents of one of the largest religions in the world –Islam — only perpetuates dangerous self-fulfilling prophecies such as the ‘clash of civilizations’ and must be addressed on an urgent basis,” said the Ambassador, as quoted by APP.

“After some intensive lobbying, the resolution acknowledges — for the first time — the significance and respect for religious symbols,” the state news agency added. “It also stressed that the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities, and must therefore be subjected to legitimate restrictions.”

“The resolution condemned any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to violence or discrimination,” APP reported, “and underlines the importance of interreligious and intercultural dialogue as a valuable tool for promoting social cohesion, and peace and development in the world.”

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