Rawalpindi-Traders along with members of civil society and Ulemas on Wednesday staged a large protest demonstration on Murree Road over French President Emmanuel Macron’s stance on the right to publish caricatures of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW).

Holding placards and banners in favour of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) and against French president, the charged protestors shouted slogans against editor of Charlie Hebdo.

Police made tight security arrangements to protect the participants of rally. An effigy of French President Macron Emmanuel was set ablaze at Murree Road, sending a strong message to entire world that Muslim cannot tolerate blasphemy.

Security agencies estimated some 50,000 protestors assembled at Murree Road to register their strong protest against blasphemous acts of France and Charlie Hebdo. Shutter down strike was also observed across the city including Raja Bazaar, City Saddar Road, Sooter Mandi, Kashmiri Bazaar, Ganjmandi, Gawalmandi, College Road, DAV Road, Liaquat Road, Committee Chowk, Iqbal Road, Waris Khan, Kohati Bazaar, Chah Sultan, Arya Mohala, Moti Mehal, Marir Chowk and Marir Hassan.

Traffic got blocked on many roads but the City Traffic Police (CTP), under command of Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Syed Ali Akbar, tried their level best to facilitate the commuters and the participants of rally against France.

According to details, tens of thousands of traders and members of civil society, on call of Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajran, gathered at Committee Chowk. Several small and big rallies also joined the big rally from various parts of city. The Ulemas belonging to different schools of thoughts also joined the main rally along with students of seminaries.

District government closed roads leading towards Committee Chowk. Charged protestors rallied on Murree Road while chanting slogans, “Shame on Emanuel Macron” and “Boycott French Products.”

Addressing the protestors, the speakers vehemently condemned the blasphemous acts of French president and demanded the government to kick out French diplomats from Pakistan. They also urged nation to boycott the French products.

“We love and respect the Namoos of our Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) and can sacrifice our and even families’ lives to protect His Namoos,” the speakers said. They said France and its allies should avoid hurting sentiments of Muslim Ummah. They said the government should boycott all ties with France.

During the speeches of the speakers including Ulemas, the crowd chanted “No defamation of the Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW),” and beat an effigy of French President Emanuel Macron with shoes.

A speaker said “throw away French products” on which thousands of protestors raised their hands in favour of boycott of French products.

Ulemas said that whole Ummah is united to protest against French president’s tirade against Islam. 

Police, following the instructions of City Police Officer (CPO) Muhammad Ahsan Younas, put in place comprehensive security arrangements to shield the protestors and to avoid occurrence of any untoward incident.