ISLAMABAD - All US missions across Pakistan as well as the Australian embassy remained closed on Friday in fear of public backlash due to the US-made film insulting to Islam.
When asked how close the protestors - bent upon going to the US embassy to protest before they were dispersed by law enforcement authorities - could reach in Islamabad during Thursday’s demonstration, she said they culdn’t enter the enclave.
“My understanding is that the Pakistani services did a good job keeping them pushed back from the diplomatic enclave, that they didn’t get very close,” she informed.
It may be mentioned here that the US has already issued a new travel advisory for Pakistan, whereby the US citizens have been advised against travelling to Pakistan because of the fear of attacks from extremists. The diplomatic staff and the US citizens residing in Pakistan have also been cautioned to avoid unnecessary exposure to public places.
Meanwhile Australia’s high commission in Islamabad has been temporarily closed due to fears of violent protests.
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman said the closure was a “precaution due to heightened unrest in and around the diplomatic enclave.”
The fears that there would be large demonstrations during an impromptu public holiday in Pakistan on Friday over an American film denigrating Islam proved right. DFAT has also updated its travel advice for Australians visiting Pakistan, warning of “anti-Western demonstrations.” Australian officials have been warned to remain indoors during the public holiday.