[Islamabad] Police in the capital of Pakistan blocked all routes leading to the city due to plans by Islamist parties to stage mass protests on Sunday against France. French President Emmanuel Macron recently angered the Islamic world by declaring radical Islam a threat following the gruesome beheading of a teacher who displayed caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed during a class on free speech.
Police used shipping containers to block roads. They also deployed paramilitary forces along with anti-riot squads. As per instructions from the Interior Ministry, all cellular internet services were partially shut down in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The leaders of Tehreek e Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a religious party, are demanding the immediate expulsion of the French ambassador along with a boycott of French products. TLP is led by Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a hardline cleric who has been successful in organizing massive countrywide protests against changes in the nation’s blasphemy laws.