Dutch lawmaker cancels Prophet Muhammad's cartoon contest

02 September, 2018, 03:49 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Wilders

Geert Wilders, an anti-Islam opposition leader in the Netherlands, has cancelled a competition for cartoons depicting Islam's Prophet Muhammad that sparked protests in Pakistan. The march started after a government delegation failed to convince the hardline leadership of the TLP here in a meeting to cancel the march.

The marchers set off from Lahore last week, arriving on the outskirts of Islamabad yesterday.

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri and the Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat represented the government in the meeting, while Muhammad Afzal Qadri, Allama Waheed Noor and Dr Amini from the TLP were also present.

Pakistan's government and an Islamic group have claimed victory after a Dutch lawmaker cancelled plans to hold a contest for drawing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. Wilders' right to stage the contest, saying it fell within the boundaries of freedom of speech, but stressed that the plan was not a government initiative.

"To avoid any risk of victims of Islamic violence, I made a decision to cancel the contest", Wilders said adding: "People's safety comes first". The party wants a halt immigration, especially from Muslim countries.

Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a leader of an Islamic party in Pakistan, said his country would attack the Netherlands with nuclear weapons over the event. "We have raised this issue at several levels", he said.

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

Pakistan's government had vowed to protest the contest at the United Nations.

In November, TLP's 2,000 followers, led by Allama Rizvi, blockaded the motorway between Islamabad and its sister city, Rawalpindi, on the issue of amendment in the declaration form as part of Election Act, 2017. Banner reads "Protest rally". They are expected to reach Islamabad on Thursday.

Meanwhile, two people were killed and four others were injured when a trailer accompanying the long march participants experienced a brake failure and crashed into another, police said. "His aim is to be provocative", the prime minister said.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok called his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi, which was the second telephonic contact between them this week.

He added: "If innocent people are murdered then they and no one else are responsible". The man, who was found with a Pakistani passport on him, was arrested on Tuesday after posting a video on social media encouraging other Muslims to support his actions.

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