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Pakistani nation observing Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool

21 September, 2012

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ISLAMABAD: The country, particularly the federal capital, will see yet another wave of widespread protests today (Friday) against a blasphemous film that was posted on the internet and has sparked demonstrations across the Muslim world.

All religious and political parties have given a protest call to workers and the public to march towards Islamabad from Rawalpindi and adjoining areas of the twin cities.

In light of the decision taken by the federal government, governments in the centre and provinces have announced a public holiday today (Friday) to observe "Yaum-e-Ishaq-e-Rasool (SAW)" while appealing to the masses to register peaceful protest against the condemnable blasphemous act.

The traders' community and petroleum and CNG associations have announced shutting down their businesses and joining the protest rallies while the transporters' association has also said that public transport will remain off the roads.

Official sources said in view of Thursday's strong protest and clashes between protestors and police, which resulted in injuries to scores of police personnel and others, authorities concerned have decided to review security arrangements in Islamabad.

A spokesman for the Difa-e-Pakistan Council on Thursday said that the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamaatud Daawa and other religious parties would take out a rally from Aabpara Chowk after Jumma prayers to the National Press Club. He said the JI amir Syed Munawar Hassan, Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi, Ejazul Haq and other leaders would lead a protest demonstration in Lahore.

Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi, amir of Jamaat Ahle Sunnat, has asked people to participate in the protest demonstrations, and announced that an all parties conference would also be held in Islamabad on September 26. He also appealed to the masses to register their protest in a peaceful manner, adding that they should not damage or put on fire public property and vehicles.

The spokesman said that besides Islamabad, calls have been given for protest rallies in four provincial capitals, other major cities and Azad Kashmir.

Dr Waseem Akhtar, a senior central leader of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), said it would not be possible to cool down people all over the country unless the US ambassador was ousted from Islamabad. "The US, in the name of freedom of expression, is continuing to patronise elements that time and again commit blasphemous acts," he said, adding that the US government should apologise to Muslims all over the world.

The PPP, PML-N, PTI, JUI-F and other parties have also announced holding protest programmes in major cities of the country.

End.

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