Rallies in Pakistan condemn anti-Islam movie

The demonstrations ended peacefully and no violence took place.

Islamabad: Pakistanis on Friday staged rallies in the capital Islamabad and other major cities to condemn a US movie on Prophet Mohammad, Xinhua reported.

The demonstrations ended peacefully and no violence took place.

Paramilitary soldiers and anti-riot police stopped demonstrators in Islamabad who wanted to march towards the US embassy. The demonstration was organised by Shia group Wahdat-e-Muslimeen.

Group leader Maulana Amin Shaheedi asked the Pakistan government to break diplomatic relations with the US.

Fazal-ur-Rahman Kahlil, a religious cleric, said the movie maker was encouraged to make the controversial film as the US government failed to punish its soldiers who had been involved in desecration of the holy Quran.

"Had the US punished its soldiers who were involved in previous blasphemous acts, no one in the US would dare make such a documentary," Kahlil said.

The Jamaat-e-Islami party also staged a rally in Islamabad, where the demonstrators demanded that the US apologise for the film.

Pakistan has already blocked internet access to the movie and the Pakistani parliament has asked the UN to inquire into the matter.

In Peshawar, hundreds of Jamaat-e-Islami supporters took out a rally, where speakers said the movie was trying to provoke extremism.

Party activists threatened to attack the US embassy in Islamabad if the Pakistani government did not protest against the film, Xinhua reported.

Party chief Munawar Hassan, addressing a rally in Karachi, demanded that the US government ban the movie and also asked the Pakistani interior ministry to lodge a protest with the US ambassador.