Pakistan on Tuesday summoned the Danish envoy in Islamabad to lodge a "strong protest" over the republication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in Danish newspapers last week.
At least 17 Danish newspapers published the controversial drawing, vowing to defend freedom of expression a day after Danish police said they had foiled a plot to murder the cartoonist.
"The Danish charge d'affaires was called to the foreign office today... to lodge a strong protest over the republication of the blasphemous cartoons in Denmark," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The Danish envoy was told by a senior Pakistani foreign ministry official that the republication of the cartoons had "deeply offended Muslim feeling and sentiment" all over the world, it said.
"Since hurting sentiments of other religions was not responsible behaviour, the Danish government was obliged as a responsible government to stop the publication of the cartoons," it quoted the official as telling the Danish envoy.
The ministry said that the Danish diplomat explained that his government did not have any hand in the publication of the cartoons and that he would convey the sentiments of the government of Pakistan to his government.
The caricature, featuring the Prophet Mohammed wearing a turban that looked like a bomb with a lit fuse, was one of 12 cartoons published in September 2005 by the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper that sparked bloody riots in the Islamic world.
Five people died in Pakistan in February 2006 during violent protests against the cartoons, while a Pakistani cleric offered a reward of one million dollars and a new car for anyone who killed any of the cartoonists.