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Pakistan criticizes France’s anti-radicalism bill, warns of ‘serious repercussions’, South Asia News

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In remarks likely to worsen the already strained ties between Islamabad and Paris, Pakistani President Arif Alvi on Sunday called on French political leaders “not to enshrine discriminatory attitudes towards Muslims in law,” warning that such measures would have serious repercussions in the form of hatred and conflict.

The president’s statement referred to an anti-radicalism bill passed Tuesday by the lower house of French parliament with an overwhelming majority that would strengthen surveillance of mosques, Radio Pakistan tweeted.

“You [France] need to bring people together and not mark a religion in a certain way to create disagreement and bias, ”Alvi said at an international conference on religious freedom and minority rights, according to The Express Tribune .

Alvi also said that French law was not in line with the Charter of the United Nations and contradicted the spirit of social harmony that Europe had previously instilled in its society. “Let there be no regression for the situations which arise from animosity and for the situations which are carried by people who do not know the true Islam”, he said.

He warned that such a move would ultimately result in a terrible scenario of hatred and hostility, The Express Tribune reported.

Labeling all religion in a different way and starting to take precautions against an entire community raises fears that will have very bad repercussions in the next 10 years, if not now, the Pakistani president said.

The bill entitled: “Supporting respect for the principles of the Republic” was adopted Tuesday by the French lower house. It aims to strengthen the control of mosques, schools and sports clubs to protect France from radical Islamists and promote respect for French values.

Relations between France and Pakistan deteriorated last year after Pakistani leaders attacked the French government and President Emmanuel Macron for failing to condemn the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron’s first adviser, Emmanuel Bonne, said relations between France and Pakistan were at a “historic low” amid a wave of terrorist attacks in the former country.

“During this crisis, after the campaign against us, our relations with Pakistan are probably at an all-time low. This is not exactly what we want, we assume it because our priorities and our language are clear,” he said at an event in New Delhi. .

Last year, after the gruesome murder of French teacher Samuel Paty near Paris, French President Macron defended the right of French magazine Charlie Hebdo to publish caricatures of the prophet.

Macron paid tribute to Paty, calling him a “quiet hero” dedicated to instilling the democratic values ​​of the French Republic in his students. In a subsequent terrorist attack, an attacker armed with a knife killed three people in a church in the French city of Nice. October 29.

Following the brutal religiously motivated attacks, Macron vowed to step up the fight against radical Islamism and terrorism, after which Turkey and Pakistan criticized his remarks. Macron’s remarks did not go well with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who criticized the French president, saying he “chose to deliberately provoke Muslims.”

Speaking to Twitter, Khan said: “The hallmark of a leader is that he unites human beings, as Mandela did, rather than dividing them. This is a time when President Macron could have provided a touch of healing and denied space to extremists rather than creating additional polarization and marginalization that inevitably leads to radicalization. “

Protests erupted in many Muslim countries, including Pakistan. Thousands of people rallied against France’s position on the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Activists from the far-right Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan TLP party took to the streets, calling on the Pakistani government to sever diplomatic and trade relations with France.

In October, Pakistan’s National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution condemning the publication of blasphemous cartoons in France and the “resurgence of Islamophobic acts” in some countries after a boisterous session that saw the government and the opposition engage in fiery discourse against each other.

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