French embassy advises citizens to leave Pakistan

The French embassy in Pakistan on Thursday advised all French nationals and companies to temporarily leave the country, after violent anti-France protests paralysed large parts of the country this week. As per details, the advisory has been issued in wake of violent protests by activists of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) who had been demanding the government to expel the French ambassador and ban the import of goods from that country.

“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.”
Anti-French sentiment has been simmering for months in Pakistan since the government of President Emmanuel Macron expressed support for a magazine’s right to republish cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed — deemed blasphemous by many Muslims. On April 13, violent protests erupted across the country that claimed the lives of two policemen and injuries to more than 300 people. The TLP protesters also damaged public and private property. TLP supporters brought Islamabad to a standstill in November last year for three days with a series of anti-France rallies.