LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — More than 1,000 protesters stormed into Islamabad’s diplomatic district while thousands vandalized Western businesses and torched a government building in another city Tuesday, in Pakistan’s worst wave of violence against the Prophet Mohammed cartoons, officials said.
At least two people were killed.
Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said two protesters died in the worst of the violence in the eastern city of Lahore, when a bank security guard opened fire to prevent demonstrators from forcing their way into a bank.
He said paramilitary troops were deployed in the city to restore order, after stone-throwing protesters ran amok.
Witnesses said rioters torched the provincial assembly building and targeted Western businesses, breaking windows at a Holiday Inn hotel and Pizza Hut, KFC and McDonald’s restaurants.
They also damaged more than 200 cars, two banks, dozens of shops and a large portrait of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, witnesses said.
The protesters also looted the office of Telenor, a Norwegian mobile phone company, and people ran away with computers, mobile phones and other equipment, witnesses said….
The students had earlier marched to several universities in Peshawar and hurled stones at a Christian school, breaking windows and causing other damage. They also threw stones at shops in the city’s main business district, chanting “Down with America” and “Down with Denmark.”
President Gen. Pervez Musharraf told journalists in the capital Islamabad on Monday that newspapers that have printed the caricatures were “being totally oblivious to the consequences for the world, for world peace and harmony.”
Come on, Musharraf. Why don’t you have the guts to say that the protestors are mad, utterly mad, and that it is insane to get so worked up about a few cartoons, and that they have shamed Pakistan before the world?
“The most moderate Muslim will go to the street and talk against it because this hurts the sentiments of every Muslim,” he said. “Whether an extremist or a moderate or an ultra moderate, we will condemn it.”…
Fine. Condemn it all day. There are plenty of things printed in newspapers every day that I condemn. But I’m not killing anybody over it.
CNN is not showing the negative caricatures of the likeness of the Prophet Mohammed because the network believes its role is to cover the events surrounding the publication of the cartoons while not unnecessarily adding fuel to the controversy itself.
And also, CNN added under its breath, we don’t want to get killed, and we value our sorry lives more than the freedoms for which our forefathers fought and died.