The federal cabinet is ready to make a political decision on the issue of severing diplomatic relations with France and on whether it should officially issue instructions to boycott French products in Pakistani markets following the recent publication of blasphemous sketches.
On the instructions of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), the cabinet will take note of a petition calling on Pakistan to cut diplomatic relations with France, among others, on Tuesday – the day of the weekly cabinet meeting.
IHC Judge Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had ordered the Cabinet Division Secretary to file the Pakistan Shohada Foundation’s petition, filed after French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo published blasphemous sketches in September, to the federal cabinet.
“… The whole issue raised in the instant petition is related to the political decision of the government, therefore, the instant petition is converted into representation and forwarded the same to the secretary of the Cabinet Division for presentation to the Federal Cabinet during the next meeting. make a political decision, ”Justice Kayani said in the order issued on October 28, 2020.
A month after the IHC decision, the secretary put the petition on the cabinet’s agenda, which will be resumed on December 1.
The foundation through its administrator, Hafiz Ihtesham, made the prime minister through the principal secretary, the federation through the foreign secretary and the federal secretary of the Home Office responded to the petition.
In the petition, the petitioner’s lawyer Tariq Asad said the French publication had published several crude cartoons that were blasphemous, defamatory, racist, Islamophobic and aroused anger in the Islamic world.
At the hearing, the council argued that the worst was that French President Emmanuel Macron had requested that the sketches be displayed on two buildings, adding that several Muslim countries, including Turkey and Qatar, had protested against their publication. and their display in France.
Judge Kayani noted that the government condemned the act, the French ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, and parliament passed a resolution.
Finding that the issue raised in the petition was related to a policy decision and should be referred to cabinet, the court then converted the petition to representation and ordered that it be referred to cabinet before being discarded.
The petitioner had asked the court to ask the Foreign Secretary to call the French ambassador, ask his government to apologize and prevent Charlie Hebdo and its editor from committing blasphemy again. In the meantime, he had asked the respondents to cut diplomatic relations with France.
In addition, the petitioner requested the court to ask the respondents to officially boycott French products in Pakistani markets.