New Delhi, Feb 13: Reiterating the country's commitment to
religious tolerance Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, at New Delhi today, has assured
Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari that India had taken up with the
Danish government the controversy over the publication of
cartoons of Prophet Mohammad.
''When we raised this with the Danish side in October last year,
we had suggested that apologies should be sought and the Danish
government should obtain assurances that the concerned newspapers
would prevent recurrence of such incidents,'' Dr Singh said in a
letter to the Shahi Imam.
The Prime Minister made the assurance in response to the Imam's
February 9 letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, expressing
anguish over the ''silence'' of the Congress and the government
over ''this highly sensitive and grave issue.'' the Imam of Jama
Masjid, Delhi, had marked a copy to Dr Singh.
The government of India was ''deeply concerned'' both by the
publication of these cartoons and by the growing international
controversy that has arisen as a result, the Prime Minister said in
a letter dated February 11.
''However, I should inform you that when these cartoons were
first published, the government of India had conveyed its sense of
outrage both in New Delhi and Copenhagen to the Danish government.''
Further, ''we remain convinced that diversity and plurality must
be nurtured. For this, it is essential for every segment of society
to be sensitive to the beliefs and sentiments of other members
society,'' Dr Singh said.