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Musharraf condemns Mohammad cartoon

Last updated on: February 04, 2006 02:08 IST
President Pervez Musharraf Friday strongly condemned the publication of cartoons by European newspapers depicting prophet Mohammad, even as the upper house of Pakistan's parliament passed a unanimous resolution slamming the dailies.

"I strongly condemn the publication of the blasphemous cartoon. This is completely wrong. It is regrettable that the newspapers did not honour the sentiments of the Muslims throughout the world," Musharraf told senior journalists of TV channels.

His comments came as the Pakistan Senate unanimously passed a resolution against the publication of the cartoons, which said, "This vicious, outrageous and provocative campaign cannot be justified in the name of freedom of expression of the press."

"The Senate of Pakistan condemns in the strongest terms the deliberate and concerted action on the part of European media... of publishing blasphemous and derogatory cartoons against the Prophet of Islam," it said.

"I am surprised as to why such cartoons were published at the current critical situation," Musharraf said adding he feared that such actions could create rift among civilisations.

He rejected the arguments that the publication of cartoon reflects press freedom and said this is the misuse of freedom of expression.

Speaking before the resolution was passed, Pakistani senators strongly condemned the publication of blasphemous cartoons in European newspapers and magazines and asked the government to come up with a strong reaction.

"The publication of a blasphemous cartoon in a Danish newspaper is a conspiracy against the Muslims," Senator Prof Khurshid Ahmed of Jamaat-e-Islami said.

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