Over 100,000 people came to march against France demanding closure of diplomatic relations
Protests against France: Protesters take over parts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The independent media reports that there is a huge, unruly crowd at the doors of Islamabad. Although, there is a media blackout for these protests. Such a large number brings serious security challenge to the country.
The protesters are demanding that Pakistan should end its diplomatic relations with France. They are seeking complete withdrawal of any diplomatic community members of French Government on Pakistani soil. The huge crowd is gathering in parts of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Some analysts report that they may also try to enter the Diplomatic Enclave.
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Islamabad’s Diplomatic Enclave is a secure-gated community which houses both residential and official buildings of various embassies. It is also considered as one of the most protected zones in the capital. It is located in the city’s red zone.
French President has created a disastrous scenario for French citizens across the Muslim World. He officially endorsed caricatures of Islam’s Prophet on buildings in Paris. For Muslims, this is a matter of life and death. By doing so, Macron has hurt the feelings of over 1 billion Muslims. This has already resulted in disputes amongst the world leaders also. By any means, only a foolish man would hurt feelings of billions of fellow human beings in the name of freedom of expression.
However, the emotions in Pakistan are charged. Although, its raining heavily and there might be many difficulties but the protesters are standing against the government. The TLP has brought in over 1 lac people to Pakistan’s capital.
Currently, all the mobile phone signals are completely blocked. It means that the protesters cannot connect with each other through the cellular networks. However, it is unknown whether these protesters will go for a sit-in strike or go away after presenting their demands. Earlier, in 2017, the same group held several days long sit-in in Islamabad against the then government.
Security Alert on Protests
Several journalists are reporting alerts from these protests.
“Thousands of Tehreek Laibak Pakistan activists arrive Islamabad. Roads be blocked near Faiz Abad bridge, leads to Islamabad. Crowd is quite unruly and chanting slogans against France. Alert,” says Zahid Gishkori.
Senior journalist Syed Talat Hussain claims that the government could not control the crowd. He claims that the had to disperse them before entering Islamabad. However, they could not do so. “Imran govt is at pains to assure the diplomatic enclave based embassies that the Khadim Rizvi led protestors will not be allowed to enter Islamabad. Earlier they were told that the protestors will be dispersed before reaching Faizabad,” says Mr. Talat.
Journalist Asma Sherazi also shared a video of protests.
There are reports that the government is trying to tackle this situation. However, it is not clear when it will be able to end this protest.
Protests against France: Protesters take over parts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi