ISLAMABAD, Nov 2 (APP): Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi Monday in a telephonic conversation with Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas expressed concerns on the current rise of Islamophobia, racism and hate speech in Europe.

He mentioned that denigration of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) through publication of caricatures was hurtful to the Muslim Ummah.

The minister further said that growing insensitivities to the sentiments of Muslims across the globe by the proponents of freedom of expression had made minorities in those countries vulnerable, adding that there was an urgent need to promote inter-faith harmony.

The two sides discussed bilateral relations, Covid-19 pandemic and Afghan peace process, Foreign office spokesperson said in a press release.

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Qureshi expressed condolences on the loss of precious lives due to Covid-19 pandemic and commended Germany’s effective strategy to contain the virus.

The foreign minister also thanked his German counterpart for assistance provided to Pakistan against the Covid-19 pandemic and underscored that collective effort by the international community was the only way forward.

On the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), the foreign minister shared deep concerns over the increasingly deteriorating human rights situation as well as the intensification of the military crackdown by Indian occupation forces and attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory.

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He also underlined Pakistan’s positive contribution to Afghan peace process and expressed the hope that the Afghan leadership would seize this historic opportunity through intra-Afghan negotiations to establish lasting peace in Afghanistan by achieving an inclusive, broad-base and comprehensive political settlement.

The foreign minister said Pakistan supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process and stressed the need to guard against the role of ‘spoilers’ who did not wish to see return of peace and stability.

The two sides agreed to continue close and consistent engagement to enhance cooperation in all spheres of shared interests.