Hundreds of far-right protesters have marched on the Pakistani capital Islamabad, threatening to blockade the city unless the country cuts diplomatic ties with the Netherlands over a cartoon competition considered to be offensive and blasphemous.
The Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party is protesting against the holding of a competition of cartoons depicting Islam's Prophet Muhammad by far-right Dutch opposition leader Geert Wilders, a known provocateur.
In Islam, any depictions of God or the prophet Mohammed are forbidden and the TLP has declared the cartoon competition as ''blasphemy.
The Dutch government has distanced itself from the competition, with Prime Minister Mark Rutte clarifying that Wilders is not a member of government. It also insisted that banning the competition would be a violation of freedom of expression and freedom of speech.
Foreign Minister Stef Blok echoed Rutte's comments.
"The Netherlands very much adheres by freedom of speech, but we also adhere to treat religions respectfully," Blok said according to Dutch news agency ANP.
The newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in his victory speech had promised to run the country on the basis of the Prophet Muhammad's governance of the Arab state of Medina in the 7th century. He also had previously condemned other such instances of mockery depictions of the Prophet.