French nationals advised to leave Pakistan

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Three policemen martyred in clash with TLP protesters in Lahore - file foto

ISLAMABD: The French Embassy in Pakistan on Thursday advised all French nationals and companies to temporarily leave the country, following violent anti-France 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.”

Anti-French sentiment has been cooking for months in Pakistan since the government of President Emmanuel Macron expressed support for a magazine’s right to republish cartoons depicting of the Prophet  (peace be upon him)— deemed blasphemous by many Muslims.

The Pakistani government moved to ban an extremist political party on Wednesday, whose leader had called for the expulsion of the French ambassador.