Pakistan will seek a vote in parliament on Tuesday on whether to expel the French envoy after anti-France protests by Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). They are demanding action over cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammad, the interior minister said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan warned his nation in a televised address on Monday that Pakistan risked paying a price if it expelled the envoy.
Relations between Paris and Islamabad became more strained after Emmanuel Macron paid tribute late last year to a French teacher. A Chechen man beheaded him for showing cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in a class on freedom of speech. Muslims consider such drawings of their Prophet to be blasphemous.
What TLP is demanding?
The violence erupted after the government detained TLP leader Saad Hussain Rizvi ahead of a planned countrywide anti-France campaign. It aimed at pressuring Prime Minister Khan to take action.
On Monday, the government said it had entered negotiations with the TLP. The group later freed 11 policemen. They were snatched during a clash outside the TLP’s headquarters in Lahore.
“After negotiations between the government and the TLP, this has been agreed that we will table a resolution in parliament today to expel French ambassador.” Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid announced it in a video statement.
To expel the french envoy is one of the main four demands of TLP that the Pakistan parliament needs to gather up votes on. The government had banned it last week after its members blocked main highways, railways, and access routes to major cities. The TLP also assaulted police and burnt public property.
Meanwhile, the TLP also demands the release of their leader, who is now been freed, and arrested workers. It also wants the removal of ban on the group and the dismissal of the interior minister.
Pakistanis are NOT happy!
All cases registered against the TLP and its workers will be withdrawn, the interior minister said. He said the group will end all the sit-in protests from across the country.
Meanwhile, four police officers were killed and a dozen were held, hostage. Moreover, more than 800 policemen were wounded during clashes with the TLP. The TLP claim that three of its members also died.
During the violent protests, brave soldiers of the Pakistan Police Force emerged as saviors of the common people. The Pakistani nation also lauded the ‘Pakistan Police’ for being their frontline of defense. Meanwhile, many civilians including a gutsy woman also challenged TLP goons for creating chaos in the country.
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