World

Islamists plan blockade in Islamabad over Dutch cartoon competition

Islamists plan blockade in Islamabad over Dutch cartoon competition

Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders says he has canceled a planned Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest following death threats and concerns other people could be put at risk.

The march, led by cleric and TLP founder Khadim Hussain Rizvi, began from Lahore on Wednesday and is expected to reach Islamabad in the wee hours of Friday.

The foreign ministry travel advice was revised on Wednesday following demonstrations by Muslims protesting about the contest in several cities, including Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

The demonstrators were demanding that their government sever ties with the Netherlands over the competition, planned by the far-right MP Geert Wilders. Physical depictions of God or the prophet, even positive ones, are forbidden in Islam and considered deeply offensive.

In a video message, the premier said that he would move the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) in an effort to raise the issue of blasphemous caricatures in the United Nations (UN).

The Dutch government refused to take responsibility for the contest as the politician is not part of the government.

On Tuesday, the Pakistani cricket player Khalid Latif offered on Twitter a $25,000 bounty on Wilder's head over the plan to open a cartoon contest.

Wilders plans to display the cartoons on the walls of his political party's room in parliament.

The man, believed to be from Pakistan, also called on other Muslims for support.

Pakistan's parliament has unanimously condemned Wilders' plans to hold the anti-Islam cartoon contest which encourages participants to draw caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The Dutch government has sought to distance itself from Wilders' contest, with Prime Minister Mark Rutte calling it provocative but saying that there were protections of freedom of speech in the Netherlands.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok called his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi, which was the second telephonic contact between them this week. The politician said he had gathered more than 200 cartoons of Mohammed for the competition. "We told them to stop the protests because the Pakistan government is taking up the issue effectively", an official involved on the talks said, adding that Labbaik representatives insisted the protest would only end once the Dutch envoy was expelled.

Prime minister Imran Khan said: "They don't understand how much they hurt us when they do such acts".

Tehreek-i-Labaik disrupted life in Islamabad with a three-week rally past year against an omitted reference to the prophet in a constitutional bill.


  • John McCain Honored at US Capitol Memorial Service

    John McCain Honored at US Capitol Memorial Service

    Senator John McCain paid a last visit to the Capitol on Friday before services Saturday at the Washington National Cathedral. Members of the public were queueing outside the building waiting for a viewing later from 1.00 pm.
    Stevie Wonder Closes Aretha Funeral With Moving Performance

    Stevie Wonder Closes Aretha Funeral With Moving Performance

    "She worked for us". "I was like, 'How are you a real person?' It's an honor to have met her, and we're gonna celebrate her". The star gave her final performance last November at a gala in NY held in aid of the Elton John Aids Foundation.
    Four killed in bus crash in US

    Four killed in bus crash in US

    Traffic was backed up along the interstate near the town of Thoreau as westbound lanes were blocked. The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending 10 investigators to the site.
  • Khalil Mack reportedly dealt to the Bears

    Khalil Mack reportedly dealt to the Bears

    Through his first four seasons in the league, Mack has established himself as one of the best defensive players in the game. According to NFL .com, the Bears have agreed to send two first-round picks plus some additional unspecified compensation.
    Tropical Storm Florence forms; no threat to US

    Tropical Storm Florence forms; no threat to US

    Hurricane season ends November 30, but September 10 is historically the "peak" day for storm activity in the Atlantic. The system is then expected to move away from the islands and intensify into a hurricane by the middle of next week.
    I'm not bothered if Ozil plays - Cardiff boss Warnock

    I'm not bothered if Ozil plays - Cardiff boss Warnock

    Mesut Ozil missed the game last weekend due to illness but the German playmaker is back in contention for the trip to Wales. But I spoke with him for his best position on the pitch and I know he can play right and as a 10.
  • IPhone XS coming soon: 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED displays

    IPhone XS coming soon: 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED displays

    To recap, the smart money says Apple will launch three new iPhones at the 2018 Apple event, just as it did previous year . Other possible new releases at the event, per BI: new models of the Apple Watch , iPad Pro , and AirPods .
    Fans stream in for 2nd day of Aretha Franklin public viewing

    Fans stream in for 2nd day of Aretha Franklin public viewing

    O'Neil Swanson II of the Swanson Funeral Home handed out memorial cards Tuesday to those waiting to view Franklin's body. The Wright Museum is a cultural landmark in Detroit , where Franklin grew up and spent most of her life.
    Simona Halep suffers upset at US Open to Kaia Kanepi

    Simona Halep suffers upset at US Open to Kaia Kanepi

    However, she is capable of blasting through opponents and a furious Halep found herself on the wrong end of a 6-2 6-4 scoreline. She never lost control of the match, even in the second set when Halep appeared to get into more of a rhythm.
  • Last-ditch talks to avert battle for Syria’s Idlib

    Last-ditch talks to avert battle for Syria’s Idlib

    Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said "terrorists" must be wiped out in Idlib, accusing them of using civilians as human shields. The United Nations has called on Russia , Iran and Turkey to delay a battle that could affect millions of civilians.
    Apple expected to unveil new iPhone models on September 12

    Apple expected to unveil new iPhone models on September 12

    Scheduled to start at 10AM, rumour has it that the event might see the launch of three new iPhones . Every year, around the holiday season, Apple blesses their consumers with a new iPhone.
    California governor signs landmark bill to eliminate cash bail

    California governor signs landmark bill to eliminate cash bail

    She said there's not enough protection in the law to ensure it doesn't perpetuate racial bias in the criminal justice system. Defendants deemed likely to appear and posing little risk to the public will be released.