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Pak, Dutch FMs discuss cancellation of controversial cartoon contest

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Press Trust of India Islamabad
Foreign ministers of Pakistan and the Netherlands today discussed the announcement by controversial far-right Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders to call off the caricature competition regarded as offensive to Muslims.
Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok called his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi, which was the second telephonic contact between them this week.
The Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement that the Dutch foreign minister "reiterated his government's position of disassociation with Wilder's activities and assured of continued cooperation".
Qureshi, who earlier had called Blok, noted that the timely efforts made by the two governments helped in achieving the desired result.
He stressed on the need to work together to raise awareness and limiting the disturbing trend of Islamophobia, and incitement to racial and religious hatred, and building of bridges among civilisations.
The two foreign ministers agreed to continue working together on issues of mutual interest.
Earlier, extremist cleric Khadim Rizvi called off his planned protest in Islamabad after the controversial cartoon competition was cancelled. Rizvi had threatened to continue protests until the Dutch ambassador here was expelled.
Qureshi, who also held talks with the protest leaders, said that cancellation of the cartoon contest was a "great moral victory".

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First Published: Aug 31 2018 | 9:01 PM IST

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