Islamabad High Court
The Islamabad High Court has made clear it is the prerogative of the federal government and the federal cabinet to decide matters relating to Foreign Policy. Image Credit: Agency

Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) today made clear that it was the prerogative of the federal government and the federal cabinet to decide matters relating to Foreign Policy.

The court gave this observation while hearing a petition filed by a citizen seeking directions for the government to cut diplomatic ties with France regarding the publication of offensive caricatures of Prophet Moammed (PBUH).

A day earlier, too the court disposed of a similar petition by another citizen seeking severing of diplomatic ties with France.

The petitioner had requested the court to direct the government to recall ambassador from France in the wake of publication of the offensive caricatures as well as the recent ‘anti-Islam’ statement by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The petitioner’s counsel and President of Lal Masjid’s Shohada Foundation Tariq Asad Advocate held that a number of countries including Turkey, Qatar and Bangladeshi had protested against publication of the caricatures in France. He said the French president himself had ordered display of those offensive cartoons on the buildings of France which was not acceptable, said Asad Tariq.

Not giving up

President Macron on October 21 while addressing a ceremony in memory of a school teacher Samuel Paty who was beheaded by an Islamic radical for showing the caricatures to his students in the classroom, had vowed that France would not give up cartoons.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani of the IHC while hearing Advocate Tariq Asad’s arguments remarked the government of Pakistan had already taken a number of steps like condemning the French government’s provocative step and summoning the French ambassador to the Foreign Office and registering strong protest with him.

The judge said a resolution had also been passed by the National Assembly and the Senate of Pakistan in this regard.

The court later sent the matter to the Federal Cabinet for decision in light of the public sentiments and disposed of the matter.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday sent a letter to leaders of the Muslim states, urging them to “collectively take up the issue of hate and extremism” caused by Islamophobic acts and statements by leaders of Western, especially European, countries.

In a tweet, the PM posted the letter he has written to the leaders of the Muslim states to “act collectively to counter the growing Islamophobia in the non-Muslim states especially the Western states that are causing increasing concerns among the Muslims the world over.”

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also held a telephonic conversation with his Turkish counterpart and appreciated President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ‘firm’ stance on rising Islamophobia in France.

According to a statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office, Shah Mahmood Qureshi while felicitating Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Turkey’s 97th Republic Day held the Pakistani government and the people highly valued the Turkish president’s concrete stance regarding the increasing trend of Islamophobia. The Turkish foreign minister said Prime Minister Khan’s statement on Islamophobia was also praiseworthy, it said.