Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Protest threat leads to Pakistan arrest

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LAHORE, Pakistan — Pakistani police on Monday arrested the leader of a radical Islamist political party a day after he threatened the government with protests if it did not expel France’s ambassador over depictions of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

Saad Rizvi was arrested in the eastern city of Lahore to “maintain law and order,” said Ghulam Mohammad Dogar, chief of the Lahore police.

Rizvi called on the government to honor what he said was a commitment it made in February to his party to expel the French envoy before April 20 over the publicatio­n in France of depictions of Muhammad.

The government has said that it only committed to discuss the matter in Parliament.

Dogar provided no further details about the arrest, which quickly drew condemnati­on from Rizvi’s supporters who began gathering near the party’s main office for a protest.

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