ISLAMABAD - Youm-e-Ishq Rasool (PBUH) is being observed across the country Friday as per announcement of the government in response to a US-made film deemed insulting to Islam.
Friday was declared a local holiday and all the government offices, educational institutions and trading centres will remain closed.
Political and religious parties and social organizations took out rallies across the country to show their love for the Prophet (PBUH) and record their protest against sacrilegious film.
Processions were taken out in Muzaffarabad, Rawalpindi, Nowshera, Jacobabad and other cities. Demonstrators in Nowshera had turned violent and caused damage to government property.
Moreover, protesters in Islamabad resorted to rioting and set alight the toll plaza between Rawalpindi and Islamabad after ransacking it. The plaza is situated near an Afghan refugee camp.
Section 144 was subsequently imposed in Islamabad and its adjoining areas prohibiting violent protests and weapons display.
The Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad Amir Ali Ahmed said only peaceful processions would be allowed to take place. To ensure that, authorities were monitoring Islamabad’s Red-zone via CCTV cameras. Government officials, security agencies’ personnel and civil administration officials were present in the control room to monitor the situation.All avenues leading to diplomatic consulates were sealed in major cities.The red-zone area in Karachi and the areas surrounding the US consulate were sealed off.
All the petrol pumps, CNG stations, cinemas and theatres across the country remained closed to mark Youm-e-Ishq Rasool (PBUH).
Oil Tankers Association, Punjab has also announced strike on the occasion and oil supply to all petrol pumps remained suspended. Meanwhile, all bus services including local and inter city through out the country also remained suspended.
Meanwhile Mobile phone services across the country also remained suspended on instruction of Interior Ministry as a precaution to avert any untoward incident during countrywide protest.