Prime Minister Imran Khan was once again all appreciation for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks that freedom of speech could not be a pretext to abuse our Holy Prophet (PBUH).

PM Imran Khan had previously appreciated the Russian President’s remarks, a few week’s ago, that “insulting Holy Prophet (PBUH) was not freedom of expression”.

According to a press release issued regarding today’s phone call, the two leaders fondly recalled their conversations during last year on the issue and also exchanged views on bilateral cooperation as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Both the leaders also discussed ways to move forward on trade and other mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.

“We invited each other to visit our countries,” the PM added

As per the communique, the premier maintained that he had been regularly highlighting the appalling rise in Islamophobia and associated hatred in his addresses to the UN General Assembly, pointing towards its serious ramifications.

“The Prime Minister underscored that Pakistan’s bilateral relationship with Russia was on an upward trajectory, with an increased focus on trade and economic ties and energy cooperation,” the press release stated, adding that the premier reiterated the government’s resolve for early realisation of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project.

Both leaders agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in different areas, increase high-level exchanges, and remain in close contact on matters relating to Afghanistan, it stated.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan underscored that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was pivotal for regional stability. Afghanistan was facing dire humanitarian and economic challenges and support of the international community to the people of Afghanistan at this critical juncture remained vitally important,” the press release added.

Furthermore, PM Imran underscored the importance of the release of Afghanistan’s financial assets for addressing the dire needs of the Afghan people.

The communique added PM Imran looked forward to President Putin’s visit to Pakistan as well as his own visit to Russia at an appropriate time.