Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday condemned the abhorrent act of desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden.
In a tweet, the premier said: "No words are enough to adequately condemn the abhorrable act of desecration of the Holy Quran by a right-wing extremist in Sweden."
Shehbaz emphasised that "the garb of freedom of expression" was used to hurt the religious sentiments of the 1.5 billion Muslims across the world, calling the act "unacceptable".
No words are enough to adequately condemn the abhorrable act of desecration of the Holy Quran by a right-wing extremist in Sweden. The garb of the freedom of expression cannot be used to hurt the religious emotions of 1.5 billion Muslims across the world. This is unacceptable.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) January 22, 2023
A day earlier, in its statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that the "senseless and provocative Islamophobic act" hurt the religious sensitivities of billions of Muslims around the world.
“Such actions are not covered under any legitimate expression of the right to freedom of expression or opinion, which carries responsibilities under international human rights law, such as the obligation not to carry out hate speech and incite people to violence,” the Foreign Office had said.
Read Pakistan assails Islamophobic incidents in Sweden, Netherlands
“Islam is a religion of peace and Muslims, including in Pakistan, believe in respecting all religions. These principles must be supported by all,” the statement had added.
Islamabad had urged the international community to show a common resolve against Islamophobia, xenophobia, intolerance and incitement to violence on the basis of religion or belief, and work together to promote inter-faith harmony and peaceful coexistence.
“Pakistan’s concerns are being conveyed to the authorities in Sweden. We urge them to be mindful of the sentiments of the people of Pakistan and the Muslims worldwide and take steps to prevent Islamophobic acts,” the office had stated.
On Saturday, Rasmus Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), burned the Holy Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.
"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the vile attack on our holy book … permitting this anti-Islam act, which targets Muslims and insults our sacred values, under the guise of freedom of expression is completely unacceptable," the Turkish Foreign Ministry had said.