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Protests spread to Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, India

ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of activists took to the streets on Friday as the protests over desecration of Holy Quran at the Nato military base in Afghanistan spread to Malaysia, Indonesia and India.

Holding banners inscribed with several anti-US slogans including ‘Damn You US Army’, and ‘Quran Our Soul, You Burnt Our Soul’, protesters gathered at public places to express their anger at the desecration of Holy Quran at the Bagram military base.

Up to 300 people blocked the GT Road in Peshawar, stomped on and set fire to the US flag, and kicked the dummy representing America and beat it with sticks while it was burning.

“The ugly face of America has been revealed with the desecration of Holy Quran,” a banner read. The Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the desecration, stressing that ‘utterly irresponsible and reprehensible things’ do not happen again.

“On behalf of the government and the people of Pakistan, we condemn in strongest possible terms the desecration of Holy Quran in Afghanistan,” spokesman Abdul Basit told reporters.

In Islamabad, the general secretary of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) told the crowd that the Islamic world should review its relations with the United States.

“We will not allow Americans to ridicule our religion and our Holy Quran,” Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri told the crowd, asking the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to convene a special session to condemn the incident.

In Karachi, hundreds of activists of Jamaatud Dawa chanted ‘Death to America’. “There is just one remedy for America — Jihad and only Jihad,” the crowd shouted. “Death to America, death to America’s friends,” echoed slogans.

“We do not accept Obama’s apology. The Muslims do not accept his apology, as it is nothing but a farce,” said Naveed Qamar, the head of JuD in Karachi. “The Americans are deliberately provoking us through shameless sins,” he added.

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