Anti-Charlie Hebdo protests continue in Pakistan

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Lahore, Jan 18: Pakistan's religio-political groups continued their protest for the third day today across the country against Charlie Hebdo magazine with protestors burning the French flag and demanding ban on the satirical weekly. About 10,000 supporters of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a wing of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba, which masterminded attacks on Mumbai in 2008, held a rally in Lahore, protesting against the French magazine which republished cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, considered as un-Islamic by Muslims. Addressing the rally, JuD chief Hafiz Saeed appealed to Muslims to boycott all French products.

"All the Muslims of the world should get united in the face of blasphemous cartoons published in a French magazine and start boycotting the French products. In Pakistan traders should stop buying the stock of French products," he said. Saeed said that all Muslim countries should press the United Nations to declare blasphemy "an act of terrorism."

Pakistan

"The Muslim countries should press the United Nations to declare blasphemy an act of terrorism. If it does not do so the Muslim countries should quit this body and form their own one – United Muslim Nations," said the former head of banned Lashkar-e-Taiba. Protest marches were also held in Karachi by the right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami party and Imran Khan's Tehrik-e-Insaf party.

About 1,200 supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami marched down a main street of the city where former JI chief Syed Munawar Hasan addressed them. In Peshawar, protesters burned a portrait and an effigy of French president Francois Hollande, demanding the magazine be banned. The satirical weekly published the contents on Wednesday after an attack on its office in Paris by two gunmen in which 12 people were killed.

PTI

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