Pakistani health officials accuse anti-French protesters of blocking critical Covid oxygen supplies
Health officials in Pakistan have condemned anti-French protesters after thousands of people halted traffic on main roads, causing a health “crisis” by blocking the delivery of critical oxygen supplies to Covid patients.
Demonstrations broke out in Lahore, Pakistan on Monday after the nation’s police detained the Ameer of the right-wing Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan party (TLP), Saad Rizvi, as a “pre-emptive measure” to “maintain law and order.”
SSaad Hussain Rizvi of Tehreek-e-Labik was arrested and the whole country, including Lahore, was cordoned off but peaceful protests continued across the country#یہ_غداری_پڑے_گی_بھاریpic.twitter.com/LcLZ1SFs7f#یہ_غداری_پڑے_گی_بھاری— Usman Akram Warraich (@UsmanAkramWarr1) April 12, 2021
The political group has been calling on the Pakistani government to kick out the French ambassador, Dr. Marc Barety, over President Emmanuel Macron’s refusal to condemn satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published by the magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Health officials lambasted the actions of protesters who blocked roads for disrupting ambulances “carrying oxygen cylinders, which are extremely essential for Covid patients,” after a number of hospitals reported shortages on Monday night. Yasmin Rashid, who is serving as the provincial minister of health for Punjab, described the situation in the region as a crisis caused by the actions of TLP activists.
Appalling police attack on Masjid RahmatullilAlmeen in Lahore,, following protests erupted due to arrest of Allama Saad Rizvi,Ameer Tahreek LABBAIK YA RASOOL@AJEnglish@trtworld@thewire_in@UNpic.twitter.com/YPO60gcWFb— Mohammad Salim (@Mohamma96639629) April 12, 2021
Prior to his arrest, Rizvi had called on supporters to march through Lahore on April 20 to pressure the country to expel the French ambassador, a move the TLP claims the Pakistani government agreed to do last year. Pakistan denies any agreement was made on the removal of France’s envoy.
Protests have erupted in parts of #Karachi, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore after TLP's chief Saad Hussain Rizvi was arrested. Large number of TLP's supporters and party-wrokers gathered after The party called for country-wide protest against the arrest.#TLPProtestpic.twitter.com/72e3dsExiY— Daily Outcome (@DailyOutcome) April 12, 2021
Images of the Prophet Mohammed are considered blasphemous by Muslims, and there has been international condemnation by Islamic figures and majority-Muslim nations, particularly Turkey, over the French government’s defense of the right to show the controversial cartoons in the country.Also on rt.com French Muslim journalist who criticized govt ‘Islamophobia’ asks Macron for protection after receiving death threats
Pakistan has been struggling to contain a third wave of coronavirus that has hit the country, as the nation’s health service struggles under the pressure of the pandemic and from a slow vaccine rollout. Since the start of the pandemic, Pakistan has reported 721,018 cases of the virus and 15,443 deaths from Covid. However, despite being a nation of more than 216 million people, the government has only managed to administer 936,683 doses of the vaccine.
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