Islamabad: More than 1,000 protesters have blocked a major highway in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, demanding the expulsion of the French ambassador and end of diplomatic ties with the European country over perceived Islamophobia.
Protesters from the far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a hardline religious political party that has campaigned on the issue of curbing blasphemy against Islam, blocked the city’s main Faizabad interchange on Monday, a day after violent clashes with the police.
Riot police were deployed to guard government buildings across the capital, with authorities using shipping containers to block important roads around the sit-in site.
Mobile phone services remained blocked for a second straight day across most of the city, as authorities attempted to disrupt the protesters’ ability to organise. Most Pakistani news media did not cover the protest.