The Dutch prime minister on Friday distanced his government from a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest being organized later this year by anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders.
Wilders "is not a member of the government. The competition is not a government initiative," Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at his weekly press conference.
Rutte's comments came after angry reactions in Pakistan to the proposed contest, which Wilders plans to hold in November in his right-wing Party for Freedom's heavily guarded offices at the Dutch parliament.
Authorities in Pakistan have lodged a diplomatic protest against Wilders' plan, calling it an attempt to defame Islam.