New York, 20 June 2022 (TDI): The Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan, Aamir Khan to the United Nations voiced concern over hate speech.

He voiced this concern on the International Day for Countering Hate Speech on the 19th of June in New York.

Pakistan expressed apprehension over growing hate speech worldwide. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister called for collective efforts to combat different manifestations of hate speech.

These manifestations include Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism, and incitement to violence.

In addition, Pakistan’s envoy stressed the need for government intervention to domestically criminalize hate speech and its certain manifestations. The envoy stressed this while proposing the priority actions.

In his remarks, he concluded that bold actions would be taken to control prejudice, intolerant, and provocative narratives, and contents.

In light of this, the envoy hoped that these actions would be taken under the framework of the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech.

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, also remarked the weaponisation of words that inflict harm.

He said that hate speech undermines the diversity, social cohesion, and common values and principles that bind all of us together.

Remarks of Foreign Office Spokesperson

Asim Iftikhar Ahmad, the foreign office spokesperson, mentioned hate speech as a prime catalyst for inter-religious discord.

The spokesperson also added discrimination and acts of violence against people and communities as other catalysts.

Asim Iftikhar Ahmad mentioned this while making a remark about the special day.

Furthermore, he stated that Pakistan has advocated for an international framework to combat hate speech and disinformation.

In addition to this, he advocated a balanced approach between fundamental freedoms and responsibilities.

He said this in the face of those who advocate fundamental freedom of expression, derogatory remarks against religious personalities or symbols.

Apart from this, he also included those who try to hurt the sentiments of minorities, citing growing tragic hate crimes and verdict incidents.

According to a Foreign Office spokesperson, Pakistan, by the visions of its founding fathers, has always been at the forefront to promote peace.

The country also promotes intercultural and interfaith respect and harmony both at the national and international level.

International Day for Countering Hate Speech

The formation of the International Day for Countering Hate Speech came into effect in 2021.

This was after the General Assembly passed a resolution that called for inter-religious and intercultural dialogue to counter hate speech.