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Anti-French Pakistani party outlawed under terrorism law after clashes with police leave two dead

Anti-French Pakistani party outlawed under terrorism law after clashes with police leave two dead
The Pakistani government has announced it will ban the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party under anti-terrorism laws after the group staged protests calling for the expulsion of the French ambassador, paralyzing Lahore.

The move to outlaw the party was announced at a press conference by the country’s interior minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed. The government decided to ban the group after Monday saw clashes between party supporters and police that resulted in the deaths of two officers and blocked critical oxygen supplies for Covid-19 patients.

The TLP’s leader is already under arrest to “maintain law and order,” having been detained after calling for large-scale protests on April 20 to pressure the government to expel the French envoy, which the group claims Pakistan had privately agreed to do. The Pakistani government has denied any such agreement exists.

Also on rt.com Pakistani health officials accuse anti-French protesters of blocking critical Covid oxygen supplies

The party has been calling on Pakistan to kick the French ambassador out over President Emmanuel Macron’s refusal to condemn caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed published by Charlie Hebdo magazine. Muslims believe that images of the Prophet Mohammed are blasphemous and a number of majority-Islam nations have condemned Macron for his inaction.

The ban has to be formally approved by the federal cabinet, which is expected to rubber-stamp the interior minister’s decision.

Once banned, the TLP will be prohibited from standing for election, having an office or raising funds from supporters, cutting off its ability to further its agenda.

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