• Tuesday, Nov 24, 2020
  • Last Update : 09:55 am

Thousands attend Pakistani cleric's funeral despite Covid-19 curbs

  • Published at 06:45 pm November 21st, 2020
Pakistan Cleric Funeral
People gather near an ambulance carrying the body of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, leader of religious and political party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), during the funeral service as the outbreak of the Covid-19 continues, in Lahore on November 21, 2020 Reuters

A local official said he estimated that close to 200,000 people had attended the event

Tens of thousands of mourners attended the funeral of a hardline Pakistani cleric in the eastern city of Lahore on Saturday, defying a government ban on large public gatherings in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases in the country.

Khadim Hussain Rizvi, 54, died of cardiac arrest on Thursday, just days after leading a violent protest march to the capital, Islamabad, against the publication in France of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Daily coronavirus infections have risen in Pakistan this month, and the government banned big events and meetings as it declared the country was witnessing a "second wave" after a three-month lull in cases.

Official data released on Saturday showed 2,843 people had tested positive for the virus and 42 had died during the last 24 hours - both figures the highest for a day since July.

Despite the coronavirus curbs, tens of thousands turned out to mourn Rizvi, and organizers of the funeral said the government had not told them to limit the gathering.

Government officials did not respond to a request for comment about the funeral, which wreaked havoc in Lahore as cellphone services were shut down and major roads blocked for security reasons.

A local official, who asked not to be named, said he estimated that close to 200,000 people had attended the event.

The gathering was so large that Rizvi's coffin could not be carried through the crowd to the site set up for the ceremony, and had to be positioned on a nearby bridge for the prayers, a Reuters journalist said.

Known for his fiery sermons, Rizvi headed the Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) party, which has made denouncing alleged blasphemy its rallying cry and staged several protests in recent years - pressuring the government on a number of issues.

Earlier this month, the cleric led a march joined by thousands of protesters to Islamabad that blocked a main entry road for hours and saw demonstrators clash with police.

 


52
51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail