Asia (IP) - The French embassy in Pakistan has told its citizens to temporarily leave the country amid increasing anti-French sentiment and protests over the showing of Prophet Mohammed cartoons and recent Islamophobia approaches.

Iran Press/Asia: The move comes after a week of intense protests against French interests in the country, including in Lahore and Karachi, as well as the capital Islamabad, demanding the expulsion of the ambassador of France.

“Due to the serious threats to French interests in Pakistan, French nationals and French companies are recommended to temporarily leave the country,” read the letter from the French embassy to its citizens in Pakistan on Thursday. 

The cause of nationwide protests is the issue of “Blasphemy.” Since November, people of Pakistan and Islamic parties called for the expulsion of the French ambassador and a ban on all French goods following President Emmanuel Macron’s vocal support for Anti-Islam bans and his refusal to condemn the showing of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. 

On Wednesday, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed confirmed that two police officers were killed and 340 wounded by demonstrators in the past 48 hours as mass protests hit the country, led by Tehreek-e-Labbaik.

Pakistan's government banned the group on Wednesday under the Anti-Terrorism Act after its leader's arrest on Monday, which triggered a new wave of demonstrations. 

In November, Tehreek-e-Labbaik's supporters blocked highways and called on the government to consider its demands, including the expulsion of the French ambassador and a ban on all French goods following insulting Prophet Mohammed.


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