Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders said he has decided to cancel the controversial blasphemous caricatures contest after being at the receiving end of death threats.
In a statement, Wilders said he has decided “not to let the cartoon contest go ahead.”
“The threats resulting from the cartoon contest are running out of control,” he added.
The leader of far-right Party of Freedom, in the past, has also called for mosques and Islamic schools to be shut down and for a blanket ban on Muslim immigrants.
TLP calls of Islamabad protest
Meanwhile, cleric Khadim Rizvi-led Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) called off its protest march to Islamabad after Wilders’ announcement.
According to Express News, the cancellation of the Islamabad rally was announced by party spokesperson Pir Afzal Qadri after his talks with Foreign Minster Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Qureshi had requested TLP leaders to end the protest and disperse peacefully following the cancellation of the blasphemous contest.
Dutch FM told blasphemous cartoons will ‘spread hate, intolerance’
In his media talk, the foreign minister congratulated the nation on their moral victory, and termed the cancellation a diplomatic victory for Pakistan.
The TLP had called for the expulsion of the Dutch ambassador as it launched a protest against the cartoon competition on Wednesday.
Hundreds of demonstrators left Lahore and had been on the move until Wilders’ announcement.
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a video message, said the government would raise the issue at all international forums.
The prime minister said the issue of blasphemy was troubling for every Muslim.
He said the Muslim world would vehemently raise the sensitive issue at the United Nations from the platform of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.