PM Shehbaz asks NA speaker to hold discussion on sanctity of Holy Prophet (PBUH)

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif asked on Saturday National Assembly (NA) Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf to hold a discussion on the sanctity of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on Monday. This comes after two senior officials of India’s ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made remarks about the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that were described as “Islamophobic”.

The PM said the remarks made by the officials hurt the sentiments of 1.25 billion Muslims across the world and asked the NA to pass a resolution against the incident to send a clear message to the world that “we are ready to render any sacrifice for the sake of sanctity of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)”, the PMO said.

The remarks were made by BJP national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and media head Naveen Kumar Jindal. Following condemnation, the BJP suspended Sharma and fired Jindal, saying that the party respected all religions.

“The BJP strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion.”

On Friday, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari apprised the President of UN General Assembly (PGA) Abdulla Shahid of the offensive remarks.

As per the Foreign Office (FO), Bilawal noted that such deliberate provocation had deeply hurt the sentiments of billions of Muslims around the world and urged the PGA to take cognizance of the development amidst growing hate speech and rising Islamophobia in India.

On Friday, members of India’s 200 million-strong Muslim minority community staged demonstrations against the incident in several cities, with a large crowd gathered on the steps of the 17th-century Jama Masjid mosque in New Delhi.

Elsewhere in the capital, social media footage showed students of the prestigious Jamia Millia Islamia university burning an effigy of Sharma, AFP reported.

The remarks by Sharma were also condemned by Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh described the spokesperson’s comments as “insulting” and called for “respect for beliefs and religions”, according to a foreign ministry statement.

Qatar has also demanded that India apologize for the “Islamophobic” comments, as India’s Vice President Venkaiah Naidu visited the wealthy Gulf state in a bid to bolster trade.