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Pakistan rally ends after Dutch cartoon contest is canceled

ISLAMABAD — Thousands of Pakistan’s hard-line Islamists have called off their rally after reaching near Islamabad following the cancellation of a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest by a Dutch anti-Muslim lawmaker.

The far-right opposition politician Geert Wilders said Thursday he canceled the cartoon contest following death threats and concerns other people could be put at risk.

The decision prompted Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a firebrand Pakistani cleric, to end his march on Friday. It began Wednesday from the eastern city of Lahore.

Rizvi had planned to stage a sit-in to force the Pakistani government to sever diplomatic ties with the Netherlands over the contest.

Physical depictions of the prophet are forbidden in Islam and deeply offensive to Muslims.