Canadian foreign minister pledges to work with Pakistani counterpart to counter Islamophobia at various international fora
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday called his Canadian counterpart, Marc Garneau, and conveyed the “anguish” among Muslims worldwide following an attack on a Canadian Muslim family on the basis of their faith.
According to a press release issued by the Foreign Office, the two ministers discussed matters related to the “recent tragic incident of Islamophobia in London, Ontario, and bilateral ties.” It said that Qureshi stressed “the Islamophobic attack is a matter of serious concern and has caused anguish among Muslims worldwide.” Still, he lauded the Canadian government, civil society, media and general public for the support they had extended to the family of the victims in their “hour of grief.”
Qureshi, read the statement, especially appreciated the “strong condemnatory statement” issued by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the Islamophobic attack and hoped that the “perpetrator of the crime would be brought to justice.”
The Foreign Office said that the foreign minister had briefed the Canadian lawmaker on efforts undertaken by Islamabad to “raise awareness and to curtail the growing Islamophobic tendencies.” He emphasized that the intentional community needed to develop a “common resolve” against “Islamophobia and promote peaceful coexistence and interfaith harmony.”
Both leaders, according to the statement, pledged to work together to counter Islamophobia through coordinated efforts at various international fora. They also agreed to instruct their envoys at the United Nations to “work together” on the issue and pledged to remain in close contact.
On Sunday, a 20-year-old man rammed his truck into a family of five while they were on a walk in Canada’s Ontario province. Police have described the attack as “premediated” and motivated by hatred linked to the victims’ Islamic faith.
Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau had said that he was “horrified” by the attack and assured people concerned by the attack that the government would not abandon them. “To the Muslim community in London and to Muslims across the country, know that we stand with you. Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hate is insidious and despicable—and it must stop,” he said.