Lahore, Pakistan, Jan 6, 2017 / 06:01 am
Supporters of Pakistan’s strict blasphemy law attempted to march in Lahore on Wednesday, but were thwarted when police made more than 150 arrests.
The nation's blasphemy laws impose strict punishment on those who desecrate the Quran or who defame or insult Muhammad.
The Jan. 4 demonstrations would have fallen on the sixth anniversary of the 2011 assassination of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, a prominent advocate of changing the strict blasphemy law. He was killed by his own security guard, Mumtaz Qadri, for his stance on the law.
Some backers of the strict anti-blasphemy law consider Qadri a hero.
Protesters from several religious parties had planned the march in the capital of Punjab province. The arrested were members of the Islamist coalition Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah.
Authorities said that more arrests would be made and no one had permission to hold a rally in Lahore, the Pakistani newspaper Dawn reports.
Police barricades set up to prevent the march caused severe traffic jams.
Other protests had been planned in Rawalpindi.