Islamabad: Pakistan government on Wednesday decided to observe the coming Friday as 'Love the Prophet Day' and declared it a national holiday, condemning an anti-Islam film that has triggered violent protests across the Muslim world.
Chairing a meeting of his Cabinet, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf called on people to protest peacefully against the film.
The Cabinet set aside its agenda to condemn the anti-Islam film and decided to observe September 21 as 'Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool' or 'Love the Prophet Day' to convey the government's protest against the film. The day was also declared a national holiday.
"I intend that a message should go to the world that the federal Cabinet of Pakistan strongly condemns this sacrilegious film which has created unrest amongst Muslims.

At this moment, I call upon the people of Pakistan to register their protest peacefully but to observe restraint and not to damage their own property," Ashraf said addressing the meeting.
The Premier said he had already directed the Information Technology Ministry to block YouTube "to register our protest at the availability of this sacrilegious film on the website" and to demand its immediate removal.

Ashraf suspended all items on the agenda for the Cabinet meeting, which discussed ways to express Pakistan's resentment over the film.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters that the government intended to join protests being organised on Friday after the weekly prayers.
So far, two persons have died in violent protests against the film in the southern port city of Karachi and the Dir region in the northwest.
Dozens more have been injured in the protests, mostly organised by religious and hardline groups like the Jamaat-e-Islami.
In Lahore, hundreds of members of the students' wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami on Wednesday joined a protest against the film.

The protesters attempted to march towards the US Consulate but riot police blocked them.
Roads around the consulate were closed with empty containers.
During a recent protest, JuD chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed demanded that Pakistan sever its diplomatic ties with all Western countries and close the US embassy and consulates.


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