Thursday Apr 15 2021
Web Desk

French embassy asks citizens to leave Pakistan over 'serious threats'

Web Desk
Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan Supporters throw stones over the police armoured vehicle during a protest. Photo: AFP

  • Advisory by French embassy in Pakistan comes amidst violent protests by a religious party. 
  • Advisory asks French nationals and French companies to temporarily leave Pakistan.
  • French mission says departures will be carried out by existing commercial airlines.

The French mission in Pakistan has advised its citizens to leave the country over 'serious threats', wire service AFP reported on Thursday.

The advisory by the French embassy in Pakistan comes amidst violent protests by a religious party. 

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

Read more: Govt decides to ban TLP under anti-terror law

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

Three days of protests and clashes have led to chaos and the killing of three people, including two policemen, the Federal Ministry of Interior has said in a detailed report.

Read more: Interior Ministry releases detailed report on arrests of protesters

The protests were organised in different cities across the country, while sit-ins were also staged in many parts of the country, causing massive traffic jams and distress to the citizens.

It is pertinent to mention that the party behind the protests has demanded the expulsion of the French ambassador, ratification of a anti-blasphemy bill, and a ban on French goods. 

The demands came in response to blasphemous sketches that were published in France, which had sparked protests across the Muslim world.

The Pakistani government had agreed to debate the demands in parliament and seek its approval to proceed, but the party in question attempted to strong-arm the state into implementing its wishes. 

Read more: PM Imran Khan, cabinet approve TLP's blacklisting as terrorist organisation

The religiopolitical party now faces imminent blacklisting as a terrorist organisation after violent protests led by its workers have seen mobs damage public and private property, harass citizens and attack the police, sometimes with fatal results.