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France urges citizens to leave Pakistan amid anti-French protests

Bambi

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France has urged all its citizens in Pakistan to leave the country temporarily amid violent anti-French protests across the country.

In an email obtained by French news agency AFP, the country's embassy in Pakistan warned of "serious threats to French interests in Pakistan".

Two police officers died this week in renewed clashes with protesters.

Protests were sparked months ago after a French magazine republished cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad


The government of French President Emmanuel Macron has defended the magazine's right to publish, angering hardliners in Pakistan.

Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad are widely regarded as taboo in Islam, and are considered highly offensive by many Muslims.

Police clash with supporters of Islamic political party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP)
IMAGE SOURCE,EPA
Image caption,
Police fired water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas at the protesters

The protests escalated this week after the Pakistani government arrested Khadim Hussain Rizvi, leader of the hardline political party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), which has called for the expulsion of the French ambassador.

Mr Rizvi's arrest, and a move by the Pakistani authorities to ban the TLP, brought thousands of the party's supporters into the streets in Pakistan to protest. Police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon at the crowds.

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The TLP has previously gathered huge crowds to protest over blasphemy issues. Under Pakistani law those found guilty of insulting the Prophet Muhammad can face the death penalty.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said the nation was "in favour of protecting the Prophet's honour" but that the TLP's demands "could have portrayed Pakistan as a radical nation worldwide".

In the email sent on Thursday, the French embassy in Pakistan said: "Due to the serious threats to French interests in Pakistan, French nationals and French companies are advised to temporarily leave the country.

"The departures will be carried out by existing commercial airlines."

Pakistani security officials arrest supporters of Islamic political party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP)
IMAGE SOURCE,EPA
Image caption,
Cars were set on fire and two police officers killed in the clashes

In France, state secularism (laïcité) is central to the country's national identity. Freedom of expression in schools and other public spaces is part of that, and curbing it to protect the feelings of a particular religion is seen as undermining national unity.

The satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was targeted in a deadly jihadist attack in Paris in 2015 over its cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, also mocks other religions, including Catholicism and Judaism.

Comments by Mr Macron in September in support of the magazine's right to publish the cartoons triggered anger across the Muslim world, with tens of thousands in Pakistan, neighbouring Iran and other Muslim countries flooding the streets and organizing anti-French boycotts.

Supporters of Islamic political party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), throw stones at the police during a protest to demand the release of their leader Saad Hussain Rizvi
IMAGE SOURCE,EPA
The TLP temporarily called off protests in Pakistan in November, claiming that government ministers had agreed to boycott French products.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan criticised Mr Macron, but the government denied it had agreed to a boycott, saying no decision had been made.

The TLP is the political arm of the Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) movement.

Led by Mr Rizvi, it came to prominence for its opposition to the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri, a policeman who killed the governor of Punjab province Salman Taseer in 2011 because he had spoken out against the country's blasphemy laws.




@Baibars_1260
 

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The French embassy in Pakistan on Thursday advised all French nationals and companies to temporarily leave the country, after violent anti-France protests paralysed large parts of the country this week.

"Due to the serious threats to French interests in Pakistan, French nationals and French companies are advised to temporarily leave the country," the embassy said in an email to French citizens.

"The departures will be carried out by existing commercial airlines."

The move came a day after the Pakistani interior ministry said it would outlaw the Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), a hardline Islamist group responsible for recent anti-French protests across the country.

The TLP has been demanding that the Pakistani government expel the French ambassador and endorse a boycott of French products due to Charlie Hebdo’s republishing of the Prophet Mohamed cartoons last year.

Anti-French sentiment has been simmering for months in Pakistan since the government of President Emmanuel Macron expressed support for Charlie Hebdo’s right to republish the cartoons, deemed blasphemous by many Muslims.

Violent anti-French protests

Clashes erupted on Tuesday between TLP supporters and police officers after the group's leader, Saad Rizvi, was detained hours after encouraging thousands of his supporters to take to the streets in cities across Pakistan.

Two police officers died in the clashes, which saw water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets used to hold back crowds.
Rizvi has been charged with instigating murder.

TLP supporters brought the capital Islamabad to a standstill in November last year for three days with a series of anti-France rallies.

Announcing the decision to outlaw the TLP, Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid told reporters in Islamabad that the government did not want "to be known as an extremist nation at international level”.

But the TLP is backed by a majority Sunni sect of Islam with a massive following in Pakistan, that will make it difficult to enforce any ban.

Pakistani extremists groups also have a history of popping up with different names after being outlawed.

Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in conservative Pakistan, where laws allow for the death penalty to be used on anyone deemed to have insulted Islam or Islamic figures.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)


Wonder why Pakistani's aren't leaving France?
 

rent4country

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It is their personal choice but I wouldn't want to live and raise my family in such a degenerate society where pedophilia is legalised.
pedophilia is not legalized in France. two 15-year-olds having consensual sex has been made non-criminal, any adult having sex with someone under 15 years old, even if consensual, has been made criminal. a teenager over 15 years old can only have consensual sex with someone no more than 5 years senior. People don't read stuff

Child marriage I hear is legal, tolerated, or quietly prevalent in some tribal and village areas in S Asian countries though, true?
 
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xyxmt

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pedophilia is not legalized in France. two 15-year-olds having consensual sex has been made non-criminal, any adult having sex with someone under 15 years old, even if consensual, has been made criminal. a teenager over 15 years old can only have consensual sex with someone no more than 5 years senior. People don't read stuff

Child marriage I hear is legal, tolerated, or quietly prevalent in some tribal and village areas in S Asian countries though, true?

Tomato Toomato
 

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The French embassy in Pakistan on Thursday advised all French nationals and companies to temporarily leave the country, after violent anti-France protests paralysed large parts of the country this week.

"Due to the serious threats to French interests in Pakistan, French nationals and French companies are advised to temporarily leave the country," the embassy said in an email to French citizens.

"The departures will be carried out by existing commercial airlines."

The move came a day after the Pakistani interior ministry said it would outlaw the Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), a hardline Islamist group responsible for recent anti-French protests across the country.

The TLP has been demanding that the Pakistani government expel the French ambassador and endorse a boycott of French products due to Charlie Hebdo’s republishing of the Prophet Mohamed cartoons last year.

Anti-French sentiment has been simmering for months in Pakistan since the government of President Emmanuel Macron expressed support for Charlie Hebdo’s right to republish the cartoons, deemed blasphemous by many Muslims.

Violent anti-French protests

Clashes erupted on Tuesday between TLP supporters and police officers after the group's leader, Saad Rizvi, was detained hours after encouraging thousands of his supporters to take to the streets in cities across Pakistan.

Two police officers died in the clashes, which saw water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets used to hold back crowds.
Rizvi has been charged with instigating murder.

TLP supporters brought the capital Islamabad to a standstill in November last year for three days with a series of anti-France rallies.

Announcing the decision to outlaw the TLP, Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid told reporters in Islamabad that the government did not want "to be known as an extremist nation at international level”.

But the TLP is backed by a majority Sunni sect of Islam with a massive following in Pakistan, that will make it difficult to enforce any ban.

Pakistani extremists groups also have a history of popping up with different names after being outlawed.

Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in conservative Pakistan, where laws allow for the death penalty to be used on anyone deemed to have insulted Islam or Islamic figures.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)


Wonder why Pakistani's aren't leaving France?
Its your embassy which is asking your citizens to leave not Pakistan. Dont you see we can very easily just have asked the french ambassador to leave and things would have been back to normal in Pakistan, but we chose not too resulting in both loss of life and money.
Secondly your question isnt valid because i doubt if any Pakistani national would be in France. Those that are are all french nationals.
 

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