Lahore, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani police arrested radical Islamic party leaders the day after protesting and threatening the government if they did not expel the French ambassador over the portrayal of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
Lahore police chief Ghulam Mohammad Dogar said Saad Rizvi was arrested in the eastern city of Lahore to “maintain law and order.”
Lizbi respects the government’s statement of February’s pledge to his party to expel the French envoy by April 20 over the publication of a portrayal of the Islamic Prophet in France. I asked.
The government said it had only promised to discuss the issue in parliament.
Dogar did not provide any further details about the arrest, which soon garnered criticism from Rizvi’s supporters. They began to gather near the party’s headquarters in protest, causing fear of violence. On Monday, they blocked some roads in Lahore and urged the government to deploy additional police.
Lizbi emerged as leader of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Labiak party in November after the sudden death of his father, Kadim Hussein Lizbi.
Lizbi supporters had previously held fierce rallies in Pakistan, pressured the government not to abolish the country’s controversial blasphemy law.
The party wants the government to boycott French products and expel the French ambassador, based on an agreement signed by the government with the Lizbi party in February.
Tehreek-e-Labiak and other Islamic parties have accused French President Emmanuel Macron of defending the portrait of the Prophet Muhammad as freedom of expression since October last year. Macron’s comment came after a young Muslim bowed to a teacher at a French school who showed a portrait of the Prophet Muhammad in class. The image was republished by the caricature magazine Charlie Hebdo, marking the start of a trial against the 2015 deadly attack on the publication of the original caricature. It infuriated many Muslims in Pakistan and elsewhere who believed their portrayals were blasphemous.
The Lizbi Party has been in the spotlight in Pakistan’s 2018 federal elections, demanding the death penalty for those who insult Islam, and campaigning on one issue of defending the controversial blasphemy It was.
It also has a history of staged protests and sit-ins to pressure the government to accept the request. In November 2017, Lizbi followers held a 21-day protest and sit-in after the reference to the holiness of the Prophet Muhammad was removed from the text of the government form.