Asia - Pacific

Pakistan, Malaysia voice concern on rising Islamphobia

During visit by Malaysia's premier, leaders lament human rights violations against Muslims worldwide

Islamuddin Sajid   | 23.03.2019
Pakistan, Malaysia voice concern on rising Islamphobia



Pakistan and Malaysia on Saturday expressed deep concern over a growing wave of Islamophobia and condemned the atrocities and human rights violations being committed against Muslims worldwide. 

The move came just a week after the deadly terrorist attacks on mosques in New Zealand, claiming at least 50 lives, though the attacks were not explicitly mentioned.

At the end of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s three-day official visit to Islamabad, including talks with his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan, both countries agreed to increase their collaborative efforts to uphold the true values of Islam on the international stage, said a joint statement.

"The prime ministers exchanged views on the situation in Palestine and Myanmar’s Rakhine state involving Rohingya Muslims and agreed to contribute positively in all forums, including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation," the statement said.

The two sides also reaffirmed their commitment to closer collaboration on issues affecting the Muslim world, including sensitivities over Muslim holy figures and religious beliefs, the statement further said.

Terrorism cannot be linked with any religion or belief, they stressed. Khan also briefed the visiting premier about the human rights situation in Indian-administered Kashmir.

During the state visit, the countries inked $900 million trade and investment agreements while the Malaysian premier was guest of honor at the Pakistan Day joint military parade.

According to Pakistani officials, Malaysia showed an interest in buying JF-17 Thunder aircraft from Pakistan, and Mahathir visited the aircraft at Noor Khan airbase.

On Friday, Mahathir criticized Israel, saying his country enjoys friendly relations with every country in the world except for Israel.

“You can’t seize others’ lands, and form a state. It’s like a state of robbers,” he said, referring to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.

His remarks came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump urged recognition of Israel's control of the occupied Golan Heights.

Israel occupies roughly two-thirds of the wider Golan Heights as a de facto result of the 1967 Six-Day War. It moved to formally annex the territory in 1981 -- an action unanimously rejected by the UN Security Council.

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