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Agencies
April 16, 2021

French embassy advises citizens to temporarily leave Pakistan

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Agencies
April 16, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The French embassy in Pakistan on Thursday advised all French nationals and companies to temporarily leave the country, after violent protests paralysed large parts of the country this week.

“Due to the serious threats to French interests in Pakistan, French nationals and French companies are advised to temporarily leave the country,” the embassy said in an email to French citizens. “The departures will be carried out by existing commercial airlines.”

On Wednesday, the Pakistani government moved to ban the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) whose leader Saad Rizvi had called for the expulsion of the French ambassador. Rizvi was detained hours after making his demands, bringing thousands of his supporters to the streets in cities across Pakistan.

Two police officers died in the clashes, which saw water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets used to hold back crowds. “We are in favour of protecting the Prophet’s (PBUH) honour, but the demand which they are seeking could have portrayed Pakistan as a radical nation worldwide,” Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid told a news conference on Wednesday.