September 19, 2021

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Anti-France protests in Pakistan’s Islamabad over ‘blasphemous’ sketches

A large number of supporters of Tehreek-i-Labbaik (TLP) on Sunday marched from Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi to Faizabad in Islamabad to protest against the publication of “blasphemous” sketches in

Taking to Twitter, Roohan Ahmed, a reporter with Samaa TV, said, “Thousands of supporters of Barelvi hardline group Tehreek-Labbaik are marching towards Islamabad. Heavy contingent of police is deployed in areas around Faizabad to stop anti-march.”

Another reporter IA Rajpoot tweeted, “More than 3k protesters of TLP are staging sit in at Faizabad Bridge even during heavy rain. Rally is led by Saad Rizvi, son of Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi. Other prominents are Allama Shafique Amini, Allama Abdul Ghafoor, Qari Shafique.”

He had also reported that the situation in Faizabad has become tense. “TLP mob is staging sit in at Faizabad Bridge and there are unconfirmed reports that MOI will extend MS suspension or had extended.”

Harald Doornbos, a journalist based in the Middle East, said, “There is an anti-protest now in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Demonstrators want to move towards Faizabad interchange, close to Islamabad.”

It may be mentioned that the French Embassy is located in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, another Twitter user has slammed the Pakistan media for not reporting the demonstrations.

“15,000 ‘anti-France protesters’ have sieged all entrances to Pindi/Islamabad. The government has failed to contain their advances. Cellphone services have been suspended. Not a single news room is reporting. @shiblifaraz keeping your people in the dark like this is criminal. Shame!” said Shahrukh Waheed, a freelance writer-documentary filmmaker in Pakistan.

In another tweet, he said, “Shameful display of spinelessness by all newsrooms in Pakistan. No coverage of the #PashtoonLongMarch2Miranshah and no coverage of what is happening in Islamabad/Rawalpindi. News rooms are supposed to report on what is happening in the country right? Yeh kia bharwat hai?”

Earlier, Dawn had reported that blockades have been installed at different entry points of the capital, including Faizabad, with the deployment of police and the paramilitary force to stop the protest rally of TLP from entering the city.

The TLP had given a call for ‘Tahafuz Namoos-i-Risalat’ march from Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi to Faizabad in Islamabad on Sunday to protest against the publication of “blasphemous” sketches in France.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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