News / Asia

    Pakistan Urges Calm in Protests Against Video

     A Pakistani Muslim protester throws a tear gas shell back towards police as demonstrators attempt to reach the U.S. embassy during a protest against an anti-Islam film in Islamabad, September 20, 2012.
    A Pakistani Muslim protester throws a tear gas shell back towards police as demonstrators attempt to reach the U.S. embassy during a protest against an anti-Islam film in Islamabad, September 20, 2012.
    Ayaz Gul
    Dozens of people have been injured in Pakistan during violent demonstrations protesting an Internet video that insults the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.  Authorities are urging agitators not to resort to violence and the government has declared Friday as an official holiday to “peacefully express love for Prophet Muhammad” to register its protest.

    For the past several days, Pakistanis have demonstrated throughout the country against the anti-Islamic amateurish video produced in the United States without posing a major security challenge to authorities.   But Thursday, the demonstrations turned violent in almost all major cities, including the national capital, Islamabad.

    Television footage showed protesters torching public and private property, and clashing with police in some cities.  An unspecified number of people were reported injured in the clashes.

    In Islamabad, hundreds of chanting demonstrators, mostly activists of religious parties, tried to make their way to the U.S. embassy inside a heavily guarded diplomatic enclave.

    Police used batons and tear gas to keep the stone-throwing crowed from the area, which also houses diplomatic missions of other countries.  Muslims have also been angered by caricatures of Muhammad published this week in a French satirical magazine.

    In view of the rapidly growing crowds in Islamabad, and possible joining of thousands of others from the neighboring city of Rawalpindi, authorities lined up scores off shipping containers on major roads to cordon off key areas in the capital.

    The demonstrators dispersed in the evening and Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira confirmed to the state-run television troops have been called in to secure foreign missions.

    The minister said the “security of the diplomatic community is the responsibility of the Pakistani state and all available means will be used to defend them."

    The violent protests prompted the United States to warn its citizens not to undertake non-essential travel to Pakistan.  

    Scenes of a protest rally against the anti-Islam movie, in Quetta, Pakistan, September 20, 2012. (Hameedullah Samsor/VOA)Scenes of a protest rally against the anti-Islam movie, in Quetta, Pakistan, September 20, 2012. (Hameedullah Samsor/VOA)
    x
    Scenes of a protest rally against the anti-Islam movie, in Quetta, Pakistan, September 20, 2012. (Hameedullah Samsor/VOA)
    Scenes of a protest rally against the anti-Islam movie, in Quetta, Pakistan, September 20, 2012. (Hameedullah Samsor/VOA)
    The demonstrations in the country are expected to grow on Friday.  The Pakistani government has also declared a national holiday for Friday to allow people to peacefully register their protest against the anti-Islam video.

    Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf urged Pakistanis to avoid violence.
     
    “I call upon the people of Pakistan to register their protest peacefully, but to observe restraint and not to damage their own property," said Ashraf.

    Pakistani authorities also have blocked Internet users from accessing websites that offer the video.

    You May Like

    Video US Observes Memorial Day With Wreath-laying, National Concert

    Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora