ISLAMABAD (AP) — Thousands of Pakistan’s hard-line Islamists have called off their rally after reaching near Islamabad following the cancellation of a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest by a Dutch anti-Muslim lawmaker.
The far-right opposition politician Geert Wilders said Thursday he canceled the cartoon contest following death threats and concerns other people could be put at risk.
The decision prompted Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a firebrand Pakistani cleric, to end his march on Friday. It began Wednesday from the eastern city of Lahore.
Rizvi had planned to stage a sit-in to force the Pakistani government to sever diplomatic ties with the Netherlands over the contest.
Physical depictions of the prophet are forbidden in Islam and deeply offensive to Muslims.