ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday criticised the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, saying the decision politicised the accolade and harmed its prestige.
Liu, a 54-year-old former university professor serving an 11-year sentence for subversion, was awarded the peace prize on October 8 for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”
Pakistan’s foreign ministry in a statement said “Pakistan is surprised and deeply perturbed” over the award by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee.
“This decision runs contrary to the established principles for the award of the Prize and therefore cannot but be seen to be detracting from the prestige associated with this award.”
China is a strong ally of Pakistan and Islamabad draws heavily on Beijing for its defence and infrastructure needs.
The award sparked a furious reaction from China, which on Thursday said that Liu Xiaobo is a convicted criminal and the honour is equivalent of “encouraging crime.”
The Pakistani statement said Liu was sentenced under Chinese law and “has done nothing that could possibly qualify him” for the award.
“The politicisation of the Nobel Peace Prize for the purposes of interference in the domestic of affairs of states is not only contrary to the recognized principles of inter-state conduct, but also a negation of the underlying spirit conceived by the founder of the prize,” it said.
The foreign ministry also praised China for “upholding the principles and norms of international law, humanity and civilized conduct”
“China has made bold strides on the road to socio-economic development,” it said and added “the spirit of humanity that imbues the Chinese civilization is a shining example to the rest of the world.” -AFP