ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of religious and hardline activists took to the streets on Friday to demonstrate against the burning of the Holy Quran at a US airbase in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Demonstrators shouted "death to America" and called on Pakistani leaders, US allies in the Afghan war, to resign with rallies organised in Islamabad, Karachi and Multan, AFP reporters said.
In Islamabad, the general secretary of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) demanded that the Islamic world should review its relations with the United States.
"We will not allow Americans to ridicule our religion and our holy Holy Quran," Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri told the crowd, asking the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to convene a special session to condemn the incident.
In Karachi, hundreds of activists of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, blacklisted as a terror organisation for associations with al Qaeda, chanted "Death to America".
"There is just one remedy for America - jihad and only jihad," the crowd shouted. "Death to America, death to America's friends," echoed slogans.
The demonstrators were carrying flags with black and white stripes.
They also held up banners, one of which said: "The defeated Americans are bound to bite dust in their war against Allah and His Book."
President Barack Obama was Thursday forced to apologise for the incident, which the Afghan presidency blamed on a US officer at the Bagram airbase.
"We don't accept Obama's apology. The Muslims don't accept his apology, as it is nothing but a farce," said Naveed Qamar, the head of JuD in Karachi. "The Americans are deliberately provoking us through shameless sins," he added.
"It is now up to our rulers whether they continue to be slaves of America or become slaves of our beloved prophet."
In Afghanistan, at least 15 people, including two American soldiers, have been killed in three days of furious anti-US protests.