Toon row: Youths call for strike in Pakistan
At least five people have died in Pakistan this week in violent protests against the Prophet Mohammad cartoons.india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 11:40 IST
An Islamic youth group angered by the publication of Prophet Mohammad cartoons called for a strike in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, on Friday, a day after about 40,000 people rallied across the southern city.
At least five people have died in Pakistan this week in violent protests against the cartoons, which first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September and have since been condemned as blasphemous by the Muslim world.
One of the drawings shows Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban with an ignited fuse.
The head of Pasban, the youth group that called for Friday's strike, said many companies planned to close and the roads would be clear of most public transport.
"We expect that people of all sects and walks of life will keep their businesses shut to convey a message to the Western world that Muslims will not tolerate any such attempt any more," said Altaf Shakoor, Pasban's chief.
Supporters of the radical Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan's largest Islamic group, also planned to hold rallies in Karachi after midday prayers Friday, said Sarfaraz Ahmed, a spokesman for the anti-US group.
More anti-cartoon protests were expected Friday in other Pakistani cities.
Islamic traditions bar drawings of Muhammad, favorable or otherwise, in a policy to discourage idolatry.