Islamist Party Cancels Protests After Pakistan Approves French Boycott
A far-right Islamist party in Pakistan has called off its anti-France protests after it said the government acceded to its demands to approve a boycott of French products. The Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party on Tuesday called off protests which began on Sunday, over what it called Islamophobic and xenophobic statements by French President Emmanuel Macron in the wake of the murder of a Paris schoolteacher after he showed a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad in a class on free speech. “We are calling off our protests after the government signed an agreement that it will officially endorse boycotting French products,” Ejaz Ashrafi, a TLP spokesman, told Reuters. The Pakistani government has not commented on the purported agreement, which reportedly bears the signatures the country’s minister for religious affairs and interior minister. The agreement reportedly also gives the Pakistani parliament three months to decide whether to expel the French ambassador. Those found guilty of insulting the Prophet Muhammad can face the death penalty under Pakistani law. Many Muslims consider depictions of the prophet blasphemous.