Pakistan government on Wednesday decided to observe the coming Friday as 'Love the Prophet Day' and declared it a national holiday, condemning an anti-Islam film that has triggered violent protests across the Muslim world.
Chairing a meeting of his cabinet, PM Raja Pervez Ashraf called on people to protest peacefully against the film.
The cabinet set aside its agenda to condemn the anti-Islam film and decided to observe Sept 21 as 'Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool' or 'Love the Prophet Day' to convey the government's protest against the film. The day was also declared a national holiday.
"I intend that a message should go to the world that the federal cabinet of Pakistan strongly condemns this sacrilegious film which has created unrest amongst Muslims. At this moment, I call upon the people of Pakistan to register their protest peacefully but to observe restraint and not to damage their own property," Ashraf said.
The PM said he had already directed the information technology ministry to block YouTube "to register our protest at the availability of this sacrilegious film on the website" and to demand its immediate removal.
Ashraf suspended all items on the agenda for the cabinet meeting, which discussed ways to express Pakistan's resentment over the film.