The French Embassy in Pakistan has advised all French citizens and businesses in Pakistan to temporarily evacuate pakistan because of recent anti-French demonstrations in many places. On April 18th 15 diplomats in Pakistan were recalled by the French government.
As of April 18, 15 diplomats from the embassy’s cultural department, foreign aid agencies and other departments have returned to France, Le Figaro newspaper reported on April 18. France’s foreign ministry says more French diplomats will be recalled in the coming days.
The diplomatic turmoil was triggered by anti-French protests in Pakistan. Large-scale violent protests against France in Pakistan’s major cities this week have paralysed parts of the country, local media reported on April 14. The French Embassy in Pakistan therefore recommended that it be necessary for all French citizens and businesses to leave Pakistan temporarily. An email from the French embassy said French citizens and employees were advised to leave the country temporarily on existing commercial airline flights because of serious threats to the security interests of the French in Pakistan.
Le Figaro newspaper reported that the street protests were largely orchestrated by the Sunni fundamentalist group The Pakistan Rabaik Movement (TLP), which strongly opposes Charlie Hebdo’s portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad and has called on the Pakistani government to expel the French ambassador to Pakistan. At least three people have been killed and 15 injured in clashes between the group and Pakistani police.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has previously said the TLP challenges the authority of the government, which has taken steps to combat such behaviour. But at the same time, he said, “I call on Western governments to use the same logic to punish those who spread hatred against Muslims and insult the Prophet while banning Holocaust denial speech.” ”
French President Emmanuel Macron said last October that the media had the right to publish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. His statement was considered blasphemous by many Muslims. Since then, anti-French sentiment has been brewing in Pakistan for months.