Geneva (Web Desk): The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Wednesday passed a Pakistan-backed resolution on religious hatred in the wake of burning of Holy Quran in Sweden.
As per the reports, 28 countries, including China, India, South Africa, and Ukraine, voted in favour, 12 voted against, while seven countries abstained.
The United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) were among the countries other than Germany the Costa Rica, Czechia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monte Negro, and Romania voted against the resolution.
Following the voting, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Khalil Hashmi, accused the West of “lip service” to their commitment to prevent religious hatred.
“The opposition of a few in the room has emanated from their unwillingness to condemn the public desecration of the Holy Quran or any other religious book,” he said.
“They lack political, legal and moral courage to condemn this act, and it was the minimum that the council could have expected from them.”
The resolution, introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) calls for states to review their laws and plug gaps that may impede the prevention and prosecution of acts and advocacy of religious hatred.
The resolution titled "countering religious hatred constituting incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence" after a man in Sweden burned pages of the holy book, triggering a diplomatic backlash across the Muslim world.
It urges states to adopt laws to "address, prevent and prosecute acts and advocacy of religious hatred that constitute incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence".
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Pakistan welcomed the adoption of the resolution.
“We are grateful to all the member countries of the UN Human Rights Council that supported the resolution moved by Pakistan on behalf of the OIC,” he stated, that incidents like the desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden could not be tolerated at all.
“All religious symbols, holy personages and Divine Books are equally sacred for followers of all faiths. Those indulging in such despicable and vile acts as the burning of the Holy Quran in the name of freedom of expression need to be called out publicly,” the premier said.
PM Shehbaz added that humanity was better served by a “consensus on the resolve to safeguard our shared values of religious tolerance, pluralism and respect for all faiths”.
On Tuesday, Foreign Minister (FM) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari called upon the world to stand united against hatred, discrimination, intolerance, and promote mutual respect, understanding, and tolerance.
Virtually addressing a session of an urgent debate held by the UNHRC on acts of religious hatred including the incident of the desecration of the Holy Quran, the foreign minister said unfortunately, the deliberate desecration of the Holy Quran had continued under government sanction and with the sense of impunity.
"We must see this incitement to hatred, discrimination and attempts to provoke violence. We must join hands to condemn it. We must isolate those who stoke hatred," Bilawal said said.
FM Bilawal said it is important to understand the deep hurt that at public and premeditated act of Quran's desecration causes to Muslims.
Terming the desecration of the Holy Quran as an attack on the Muslim faith, the minister said that the call in the draft text presented before the council for prevention and accountability was reasonable and necessary.
FM Bilawal said hate speech and free speech must be segregated, as free speech was as indispensable as hate speech.
"There is not a single Muslim country on the planet that allows the desecration of the holy text of other religions," he said, adding that such an act was unthinkable to any Muslim.