The Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has called upon the world community to declare blasphemy despicable and a criminal act.
Addressing Ishq-e-Mustafa Conference held at the Prime Minister House, he said denial of holocaust is met with punishment but Muslims' sentiments are absolutely disregarded, adding it is incumbent upon all as a Muslim to protest against any insult to the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
"The anti-Islam movie has harmed the sentiments of all Muslims including me," he asserted, adding the issue does not pertain to the freedom of expression as it was intended to provoke the feelings of Muslims.
Prime Minister pointed out that the blasphemous internet video made by an American has caused anger among the Muslims. He said this is not freedom of expression. This is more about hatred and demonstrates blatant double standards.
He said if denying Holocaust is a crime then demonizing holiest personalities is not less a crime. Prime Minister Pervez Ashraf said an attack on the Prophet Hazrat Mohammad [Peace Be upon Him] is an attack on the core belief of 1.5 billion Muslims.
This is something that is unacceptable. Our faith remains incomplete without total devotion and reverence to the holy Prophet (PBUH). He said the anguish and hurt is even deeper as the profane act was based on hatred and prejudice.
He said we appreciate those in the international community who joined Muslims in condemning this act. Prime Minister said the holy Prophet gave the message of peace and harmony.
He appealed the nation to maintain peace and avoid violence. It is our collective responsibility to protest peacefully without causing harm or damage to lives and properties. He said it is not right to damage the foreign diplomatic missions. He urged the Ulema and Mashaikh to use their influence to help stop the violence during protests.
Prime Minister said Pakistan is the only country that condemned this incident at the state level. The parliament and cabinet unanimously passed the resolutions of condemnation against this dastardly act. A protest has been lodged by the Foreign Office and YouTube has been banned.
The PM Raja demanded disrespect to the prophet hood be declared as an international offence, adding Pakistan seeks resolution of this issue in concert with the international community.
He underlined if the strings of blasphemies is not stanched, then the respect for any personality will not remain in the world.
Commenting on the spate of protests sparked in the aftermath of the anti-Islam movie, the PM Raja said the government appreciates the sentiments of the people; but, the protest should be undertaken in peaceful fashion, adding the makers of the notorious film are destined for nothing but ignominy.
The PM Raja concluded his speech with Islam Zindabad (Long Live Islam) and Pakistan Paindabad (Long Live Pakistan).