Anti-France protest in Pakistan ends after govt’s promise

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Anti-France protest in Pakistan ends after govt's promise



An Islamic group on Tuesday ended the blockade of an entrance into Pakistan’s capital, after the government promised to discuss the expulsion of the French ambassador.
Anti-France protests erupted in some parts of the Muslim world after French President Emmanuel Macron defended the right to publish cartoons, including those deemed offensive, in late October.
Thousands of activists from Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), a far-right group, captured a major intersection into the capital Islamabad on Sunday, blocking the commute into the city.
A radical cleric leading the protest asked the government to expel France’s ambassador to Pakistan and announce an official boycott of French products.
The interior and religious affairs minister held talks with protest leaders on Monday night and assured them parliament would discuss the French ambassador’s expulsion.

The government also promised to boycott French products, though it was not clear if imports would be banned.
“We have dispersed after all demands are met,” group’s spokesman Qari Zubair said.
Mr Macron’s comments came after a school teacher was killed by an Islamist for showing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, originally published in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, during a lesson on freedom of expression last month.
Any depiction of the prophet of Islam is forbidden in Islam and is deemed offensive by Muslims.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said “the rising tides of Islamophobia” in Europe and ridicule of Prophet Muhammad bred extremism among Muslim youth.
Several Islamic political parties in Pakistan have carried out massive protests against the pictorial depiction of the prophet, which is considered blasphemous by orthodox Muslims.
(dpa/NAN)



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