France has advised French citizens to leave Pakistan temporarily. France has also warned of serious threats to French interests in the country.
Two diplomatic sources said on Thursday that thousands of Tehreek-e-Libek Pakistan (TLP) workers had clashed with police earlier this week. Protests against the arrest of their leader are taking place ahead of the rallies, in which French cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were condemned. For Muslims, the portrayal of the Prophet is not only insulting but also unbearable.
Diplomatic sources said a message was sent to French citizens overnight. The French companies operating here were warned with reference to the TLP that they could be the target of any unrest here.
Sources said that the embassy has sent a message to French residents in Pakistan. It recommended that French nationals leave the country, and called on French companies to suspend their activities “because of the serious threats to French interests in Pakistan.”
Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to a French teacher who showed blasphemous sketches in a class on freedom of expression, which was then beheaded by an 18-year-old Muslim student. After this incident, there was a clear wave of anger and protest among the people of the Muslim world, especially in Pakistan, over these sketches. Diplomatic relations between Pakistan and France also deteriorated during this period.
So last year, after the government signed the agreement, the TLP ended all similar protests against France. The participants in the agreement agreed to support a boycott of French products and to take action in parliament to deport the French ambassador. So this week the TLP demanded the deportation of the French ambassador.
As soon as a series of nationwide protests began over the issue, the government declared the TLP null and void in view of the deteriorating law and order situation. TLP leader Saad Rizvi was detained by law enforcement this week.
Remember this is a serious situation and we know that things can go fast in Pakistan. Therefore, the government should look into every issue here. So that things can get better as soon as possible and this issue can be resolved with understanding.