PESHAWAR, Sept 18: Police on Tuesday used teargas to drive off the people proceeding on Hayat Avenue towards the US consulate in the capital city during a rally against the anti-Islam film.
The protesters also pelted stones, but no damage was reported.
The rally was taken out by Jamaat-i-Islami workers from Darvesh Masjid. It ended near the US consulate, where JI leaders Shabbir Ahmad, Israrullah Khan and Amir Bahrullah delivered speeches.
Shouting slogans against the US and the filmmaker, some protesters threw stones at police and tried to go ahead but police first stopped them and then tear-gassed them to drive them off.
According to Israrullah, a spokesman for JI, nine people, including Niaz Mohmand, Jamal Shah, Amir Shahzad, Samiullah and Bahadur, were arrested.
He said police had beaten up protesters.
However, police claimed that they used teargas to break up demonstration.
Earlier, speakers said the film had been made and released by the US nationals to hurt religious sentiments of Muslims across the world.
They said protests against anti-Islam film would continue in the country until the government took up the matter with the US for corrective measures.
The speakers demanded that Pakistan sever diplomatic relations with the US.
Also in the day, traders took out rallies in Saddar area and from Chowk Yadgar before marching on different roads.
Students led by Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf workers and Pakistan Muslim League-N women wing also staged a demonstration on Sher Shah Suri Road, while Pasban Pakistan workers marched from Masjid Mahabat Khan to Khyber Road and staged a sit-in outside the provincial assembly building. Students of Peshawar University blocked the University Road.
Road users complained of being inconvenienced by rallies, which suspended traffic for long hours.
In the day, missionary educational institutions remained closed for security reasons.
In Timergara, dozens of Hindus and Christians from across Lower Dir protested in front of the press club against anti-Islam film.
Sudesh Kumar led the protesters, who carried banners and held placards inscribed with slogans against the US filmmaker.
Mr Kumar said the film was made to incite Muslims and therefore, its making should be condemned.
He said members of religious minorities would continue supporting Muslims against anti-Islam film and wanted the government to review diplomatic relations with the US government. Mr Kumar said the Foreign Office should summon the US envoy to protest the making of the anti-Islam film in the US.
Also in the day, Islami Jamiat Tulba workers marched on Maidan Balambat Road from the Postgraduate College to the press club against the film.
They shouted slogans against the US and Pakistani governments and demanded ‘exemplary’ punishment for the film’s producer, director and cast by the US. They also called for expulsion of the US envoy from the country on the matter.Lawyers boycotted courts in Timergara in the day, condemning the making of the anti-Islam film. They demanded strict UN action against the culpable people.
In Tank, markets and educational institutions remained closed and rallies were staged against the sacrilegious film.
People from different walks of life, especially political workers, clerics and traders, showed up in large numbers.
Charsadda, too, saw many rallies against the anti-Islam film in the day.
The rallies were staged by traders, journalists, students and political workers, who shouted slogans against the US and torched the US flag and its president’s effigy.
A complete shutter-down strike was observed in the district, while traffic remained thin on the roads.
In Mingora, students of Saidu Medical College and Jehanzeb College, clerics and others staged protests against the sacrilegious film.
They blocked roads leading to Nishat Chowk and burnt old tyres.
In Batkhela, political workers demonstrated in the main bazaar carrying banners and placards and shouting slogans against the US and filmmaker. They demanded strict action against the culpable people.
In Mansehra, traders, clerics and political activists announced to observe a complete strike tomorrow (Thursday) to protest the making of the anti-Islam film.
In Buner, chemists and druggists demonstrated outside DHQ Hospital shouting slogans against the US and holding placards.
They demanded that Pakistan sever diplomatic ties with the US without delay.
In Karak, traders took out a rally against the sacrilegious film and demanded death penalty for filmmaker. They later blocked Karak-Bannu Road at Saddam Chowk.
Residents of Bahaderkhel area also demonstrated against the film in the day.
In Swabi, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf workers organised a rally. They blocked Topi-Tarbela Road for around an hour.
Traders observed complete shutter-down strike, while Islami Jamiat Tulaba workers blocked Swabi-Mardan Road at Gohati Bridge for around an hour.
In Nowshera, Defa-i-Pakistan Council gave a countrywide protest call for Sept 21 (Friday) against the anti-Islam film and appealed to all political parties to make the protest a success.
DPC chairman Maulana Samiul Haq told reporters in Akora Khattak that rallies would be taken out on the day in big cities.
In Upper Dir, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl workers staged a rally against the sacrilegious film.
Speakers, including JUI-F leaders Inamullah Khan and Maulana Fazl Azim, urged the government to sever diplomatic relations with the US over the film.
Also in the day, students of the Government College, Dir took to the streets though their educational institutions have been closed for three days.