The French embassy in Pakistan has requested French citizens to leave the country due to “serious threats” by the TLP Protest in Pakistan, they face, according to wire service AFP on Thursday. Protestors interacted with police personnel a day earlier. The French embassy’s warning comes amid violent demonstrations by a religious group in Pakistan.
“French nationals and French companies are advised to temporarily leave Pakistan due to serious threats to French interests, from the TLP protest in Pakistan” the mission said in an email to French citizens. Three days of demonstrations and violence resulted in chaos and the deaths of three people, including two police officers, according to a detailed report released by the Federal Ministry of Interior.
Protests were held in various cities across the country, as well as sit-ins in various locations, resulting in major traffic jams and discomfort among people. The protestors’ group has demanded the removal of the French ambassador, as well as the ratification of an anti-blasphemy bill and a ban on French products.
The demands were posted as a reply to blasphemous drawings that were published in France and triggered worldwide protests. The Pakistani government agreed to discuss the demands in Parliament and seek its permission to proceed, but the offending party tried to pressure the government into carrying out its demands. Following violent demonstrations led by its workers, the religious political group now faces potential blacklisting as a terrorist organisation, with crowds destroying public and private property, harassing civilians, and attacking police, often fatally.