Source: The Guardian
Pakistani police have clashed with protesters and arrested dozens in an attempt to disperse an anti-blasphemy sit-in staged by a hardline cleric, which has blocked a main entrance to Islamabad for a week, choking traffic and putting the capital on near lockdown.
Thousands of supporters of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of the Tehreek-e Labbaik Pakistan party, are demanding that the law and justice minister, who they accuse of undercutting blasphemy laws, resign.
Fearing violence at a combustible time in Pakistani politics, police have blocked several roads with shipping containers to prevent protesters from reaching government buildings.
“The police have beaten up our peaceful protesters,” said one protester, Faisal, 37. “We are ready to get our heads cut off for this cause. We are protecting the prophet, because if we won’t, who will?”