UNITED NATIONS, Jun 25 (APP):Pakistan proposed a six point plan to address the new manifestations of racism and faith-based hatred especially Islamophobia at a largely-attended forum at UN Headquarters organized by Pakistan with Turkey, the Holy See and the United Nations on Monday.

Other speakers too called for effective steps to counter the challenge posed by the growing phenomenon of faith-based hatred and violence so as to promote peaceful, inclusive and just societies around the world.

“A particularly alarming development is the rise of Islamophobia, which represents the recent manifestation of the age-old hatred that spawned anti-Semitism, racism, apartheid and many other forms of discrimination,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, said in her opening speech.

She said Prime Minister Imran Khan had repeatedly called for urgent action to counter Islamophobia at various forums. “We encourage the UN and other relevant organizations to address this issue.”

Pakistan took the initiative to hold Monday’s side-event on “Countering terrorism and other acts of violence based on religion or belief” in the wake of the launch last week by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of his strategy and action plan against hate speech. Participants in the discussion that ensued at the event praised Ambassador Lodhi for the timely move.

With an increasing trend of violence based on religion, and hateful narratives spreading across the world, this event was aimed at discussing this important issue and help in charting a way forward, the Pakistani envoy told APP.