Home Muhammad Pakistan lifts radical party ban behind anti-France rally

Pakistan lifts radical party ban behind anti-France rally

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ISLAMABAD (AP) – Pakistan on Monday said it had lifted a ban on a radical Islamist party behind a violent anti-France protest last month that sparked clashes with police, killing six officers and four protesters.

This follows an agreement reached last week between the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Tehreek-e-Labiak Pakistan that the party would end its march to Islamabad. The march was called to demand the closure of the French embassy in the Pakistani capital.

The Interior Ministry lifted the ban on Sunday evening.

The TLP was banned a year ago amid violent rallies against the publication of caricatures of the Prophet of Islam in France. The party began demanding the expulsion of the French envoy in October 2020, when French President Emmanuel Macron attempted to defend the Prophet Muhammad cartoons as free speech.

Macron’s comments came after a young Muslim beheaded a French school teacher who had shown caricatures of the prophet in class. The footage was reposted by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to mark the opening of the trial into the 2015 deadly attack on the publication of the original cartoons.

This has enraged many Muslims who think these representations are blasphemous.


Pakistan’s decision to lift the TLP ban has drawn criticism on social media. The government said the ban was lifted in “the wider national interest” amid assurances that the party would not engage in violent activity in the future.

The protest march on Islamabad, which began on October 22, was also aimed at demanding the release of party leader Saad Rizvi, who was arrested a year ago, as well as thousands of Islamists detained in connection with ‘a crackdown aimed at thwarting the Islamists. walk from Lahore city to Islamabad.

TLP supporters have yet to officially announce the end of their march and dozens of protesters are still seated along a highway in the city of Wazirabad. Authorities say they released more than 1,000 detained TLP supporters last week and that a process was underway to release Rizvi.

Rizvi’s party rose to prominence in Pakistan’s 2018 election, campaigning on the sole issue of upholding the country’s blasphemy law, which calls for the death penalty for anyone who insults Islam.

The Pakistani military was due to brief lawmakers on Monday on the current security situation in the country.


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