Demonstrations against Blasphemy in Pakistan

Things have gotten out of hand in Pakistan after people in their thousands blocked one of the entrance into the country’s capital Islamabad. The people have been identified as followers of a firebrand Pakistan cleric. The followers have blocked the entrance for over a week now, and they are armed with iron rods and sticks. They want the law minister of the country to resign. At the same time, they have another demand where they want the country to adhere to the strict laws relating to blasphemy. The protestors have staged a sit-in, and it’s believed that they are being led by Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi. Approximately 3,000 armed men are on site. Pakistan government officials have said that they are confident that some protestors have more serious weapons. At the same time, there is a fear that the standoff is likely to degenerate into a violent confrontation. The government has reacted to the standoff by blocking some roads that lead to government buildings. This way, the protestors will not be able to advance. Since the protest began, hours-long traffic jams have become common. As late as Sunday, long lines of vehicles were still being witnessed in roads that lead to the suburbs of the city. Local news outlets report that the roads have been clocked using shipping containers.

At the same time, schools that are located near the area have been closed, and students have been sent home. Islamabad assistant commissioner Kamran Cheema told news reporters that hectic efforts to resolve the problem are underway. Despite the government efforts, it has been reported that the leaders of the demonstrators have remained defiant. One of the clerics and a leader of the group has been identified as Mr. Rizvi. He said that they are willing to give their lives. At the same time, he said that they would not relent until their demands are met. This is just one indication of the struggles that the Pakistan government is currently facing. The ruling party in the country is known as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. At the moment, the party is still nursing wounds from the disqualification of its Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after he was associated with corruption charges. Any violent confrontation will not be good for the ruling party. This protest is as a result of a change in electoral laws that was implemented last month. Blasphemy remains a combustible issue in the Muslim country.

About Erica Smith 227 Articles
With several years in the medical field—both as a practitioner and an administrator—Erica has a unique perspective on the health industries. From medical technology to cancer research, she covers our health industry.

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