The Islamist Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) party canceled the remainder of its planned march from Lahore to Islamabad on the evening (local time) of Thursday, August 30. TLP leaders organized the march to protest a controversial cartoon contest in the Netherlands hosted by a far-right Dutch politician that was itself recently called off. Demonstrators began marching in Lahore on Wednesday, August 29, and had reached Rawalpindi district when the remainder of the march and culminating rally was canceled. Localized residual disruptions and traffic delays are possible as protesters return home.
Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders announced he was calling off the cartoons contest on August 30. Physical depictions of Muhammad are considered offensive and forbidden in Islam. TLP announced their intention to march from Lahore to Islamabad via the Grand Trunk Road, holding sermons and rallies along the way demanding the cancelation of the cartoon contest or the severing of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the Netherlands.
Individuals in Pakistan are advised to monitor developments, avoid public gatherings as a precaution, refrain from discussing sensitive religious and political topics in public, and anticipate residual traffic disruptions.
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