Rest returns after cartoon protests Pakistan, ‘government supports French boycott’

Pakistani protesters remove a major roadblock they had erected in protest against Muhammad cartoons shown in France. After two days of protesting, the protesters are satisfied with government commitments.

Some thousand supporters of the radical Islamic party Tehreek-e-Labbaik blocked an important highway near the capital Islamabad since Sunday evening. Attempts by the police to forcibly clear the road again failed.

The crowd is angry about the French reaction to the murder of Samual Paty, the teacher who was beheaded when he showed Mohammed cartoons at school. To underline the right to freedom of expression, Mohammed cartoons were then projected onto public buildings.

President Macron also promised to take hard action against Muslim extremists. He defended the right to blasphemy, which is precisely the death penalty in Pakistan.

Boycott French products

The protesters demanded the departure of the French ambassador into the country. They called the French reaction Islamophobic.

The leaders of the demonstration now say that the Pakistani government is supporting a boycott of French products. That is enough for them to put an end to the protests.

Press agency Reuters has seen a document in which two ministers express their support for the boycott. The government has not publicly said anything about a commitment.