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Pakistan to host 8th Istanbul Process meeting on countering religious intolerance next year

Pakistan will host the 8th meeting of the Istanbul Process next year with a focus to evolve responses to growing religious intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief.

The announcement has been made by Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood while addressing 7th Istanbul Process meeting at The Hague, Netherlands.

The Minister drew attention to the alarming levels of Islamophobia in many parts of the world due to growing incidents of hate crimes, negative profiling, assaults on hijab wearing Muslim women, denigration of venerated Muslim personalities and symbols.

He also expressed deep concerns over the growing incidents of systematic discrimination and state violence against Muslims in India.

He called for eschewing ambivalence and double standards by flag-bearers of human rights in the face of grave human rights violations including in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Referring to the importance of upholding fundamental freedoms, the Minister underscored that the freedom of expression must be exercised with responsibility and the international community should consider reasonable restrictions in this regard.

Ijaz/NNR/Khokhar