Pakistani ambassador to Norway, Rab Nawaz Khan, fears what will happen when the Norwegian Muhammad caricature published in Adresseavisen reaches the masses in large Muslim countries like Pakistan.
"Muslim societies all over the world will be insulted. Therefore it's a terrorist act," says the ambassador to TV 2.
He thinks the publication can cause strong reactions, and that people will lose control. He thinks this will also endanger Norwegian citizens' lives. "People shouldn't forget that there's many Norwegian businesses in Pakistan," he says.
The embassy had made a formal protest to the Foreign Ministry. Spokesperson Anne Lene Dale Sandsten says that the ministry is taking note of teh protest, but she did not want to comment as she fears this can contribute to inflaming the matter further.
Meanwhile, companies in Trondheim, home of Adresseavisen, fear losing millions. Bernt Østhus of Aqualyng says that regardless of what people think of the cartoon, it will be interpreted differently in the Muslim world and that's very bad for them.
Aqualyng has desalination projects in Pakistan, Saudi-Arabia and Oman, as well as an office in Dubai. The projects in Karachi are worth 1.2 billion kroner and Østhus fears that the Adressa cartoon will have repercussions for his company.
Østhus says they have no indications of security concerns, but they are described as a Norwegian company, and that increases the risk that some idiot will do something.
Adresseavisen's management had meanwhile informed all employees that they had hardly gotten any threats, but that they had contacted the police's security service. They ask all employees to inform there or any threatening mail or phone call, which they will then send on to the police.
Chief Editor Arne Blix said in an interview to VG that they had not received any threats so far.
Sources: Aftenposten, VG, NA24 (Norwegian)
The interview with the Pakistani ambassador, as it appeared on Norwegian TV. The announcer speaks in Norwegian, but Rab Nawaz Khan speaks in English. (Click on 'se video' to start playing).
Source: TV2 (Norwegian)
See also: Denmark: Pakistani ambassador blames cartoons for embassy attack, threatens with more attacks, Norway: Muhammed cartoon