Far-right Dutch MP cancels Muhammad cartoon competition

Far-right Dutch MP cancels Muhammad cartoon competition

A Dutch anti-Islam politician last night cancelled a competition for cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad after more than 10,000 people in Pakistan marched to protest against it.

The demand was made during the first round of talks between TLP's top leadership and the government in Lahore.

Hundreds of activists gathered in the eastern city of Lahore for the demonstration organised by Tehreek-e-Labbaik, a party that amassed the fifth largest number of votes in a general election last month.

The demonstrators were demanding that their government sever ties with the Netherlands over the competition, planned by the far-right MP Geert Wilders. The Dutch government has distanced itself from the event while saying it is committed to free speech.

The Dutch government has expressed helplessness to stop the exhibition by the opposition party owing to the existing laws of that country. Organizers say this time they will disperse after a daylong protest.

Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a leader of an Islamic party in Pakistan, said his country would attack the Netherlands with nuclear weapons over the event. His government has summoned the Dutch ambassador to lodge a formal protest, but has so far dismissed calls to expel the envoy.

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The Pakistani Senate also passed a resolution condemning the contest, accusing Wilders of "inciting hatred, racial prejudice, unrest, conflict and insecurity in a world that has already seen much bloodshed, racism, extremism, intolerance and Islamophobia". Former government law minister Zahid Hamid was forced to resign from his post, leading to the TLP finally calling off the protest. It reached Rawalpindi late Thursday.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced to move Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to raise issue of sacrilegious caricature contest in the United Nations (UN).

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony Noorul Haq Qadri has said that corruption is at its peak in Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) bringing bad name to the department. "We have contacted the European Union".

The prime minister said the issue of blasphemy was troubling for every Muslim.

The man, believed to be from Pakistan, also called on other Muslims for support.

The then governing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party (PMLN) was forced to accept the resignation of law minister Zahid Hamid, whom Labbaik held responsible for the change, after seven people were killed and almost 200 wounded in a failed attempt by police to disperse protesters.

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