Pakistan Saturday welcomed a reported decision of the Denmark Government to propose a bill, which would outlaw the burning of the Holy Quran and other divine books, believing it as ‘a step in the right direction’. “Pakistan has always maintained that desecration and burning of holy scriptures constitute a serious act of religious hatred, which must not be permitted under the guise of freedom of expression, opinion and protest,” Foreign Office spokesperson said in a press statement. As stipulated by the international human rights law and called for by the UN Human Rights Council, such provocative acts must be prevented and prohibited through legal means, it was further stressed. “We hope the step taken by Denmark today would culminate in effective legislation to curb the desecration of the Holy Quran and other divine books.” “We also hope that other countries will emulate and undertake similar steps to outlaw such hateful acts,” the spokesperson said. The spokesperson said the recurrent incidents of the Holy Quran’s desecration during the last few months had hurt the sentiments of over 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide. “Such abhorrent acts intend to create friction among communities and harm inter-faith harmony and mutual respect. It is the responsibility of national governments to take all measures necessary to prevent these acts of religious hatred, xenophobia and Islamophobia,” it was added. In his interaction with Danish Foreign Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, while appreciating the Danish government’s proposed legislation, expressed the hope that the bill, when passed, would create interfaith harmony and bring an end to an environment of hatred amongst the people of different religious faiths.