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Pakistan says Rushdie knighting violates UN resolution


Islamabad : Pakistan said Monday that the knighting of Indian-born British author Salman Rushdie violated the United Nations resolution on fostering understanding between religions and civilizations.

Rushdie, whose 1988 book The Satanic Verses offended the Muslim world and led to issuance of a death decree by Iran and violent protests in Pakistan and other Islamic states, received the honour in Britain just over a week ago.

"We have brought to the notice of the British government that the decision to confer knighthood on Salman Rushdie is against the spirit of this resolution," Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told reporters in Islamabad.

However, there was no mechanism to file a petition with the United Nations against such a violation, she observed.

Asserting that the move did not help efforts to bridge the gap between the Muslims and the West, she said, "It is up to the British government to take into account the sensitivities of Muslims."

The Pakistani parliament and provincial legislatures have adopted separate resolutions, fiercely condemning the honouring of Rushdie and seeking an apology from Britain and withdrawal of the title.

But Britain has ruled out an apology, insisting that the title was conferred on Rushdie for his literary services and not to offend Muslims.