France-Pakistan Poisoned Relations over Cartoons

Muslims in Pakistan rallied against Macron and now they want their parliament to vote to cut ties with France

The relations between Pakistan and France remains poisoned by the French support of anti-Islam cartoons, says Paris-based the Le Figaro daily.

Four months after the controversy over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) the Pakistanis are yet to forgive France.

The publication of the caricatures led to thousands of anti-French protestors rallying the streets of Pakistan against President Emmanuel Macron.

Calls for boycott of French products also led to many ditching anything that is French for other countries.

Some Pakistani brand was also hit because they sounded French, and that includes the makers of the Lu biscuits.

Many of the protests in Pakistan were organised by far-right party Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).

It demanded the “expulsion of the French ambassador, severing ties with France and boycotting French products”.

However, the Pakistani government is willing to move forward and will go to the Parliament to discuss the anti-French campaign.

The TLP is threatening to stage a sit-in in Islamabad against the government’s failure to meet its demand for the severing of ties with the French.

Le Figaro says the move to take the matter to the parliament in Pakistan worries the French.

The possibility of the parliament vote for a boycott of France is real, some say.

The presidential palace in France sees this as a very bad move.

The sulking French are now saying the insults were against the French president and these were taken personally by Macron.

“And now the Pakistani government is considering putting the question of the ambassador’s expulsion to parliamentarians. It is very badly perceived,” the French newspaper says.

SLANDEROUS REMARKS

The French say a tweet by Shireen Mazari, the Pakistani Minister of Human Rights, was ‘slanderous’ and burnt the relationship between both countries further.

The tweet has since then been deleted. She said the French President was treating Muslims like Nazis treated the Jews in World War II.

The French government urged her to withdraw the remarks, she did. But the French did not end it there. They still hold it as a grudge.

 

“Macron is doing to Muslims what the Nazis did to the Jews — Muslim children will get ID numbers (other children won’t) just as Jews were forced to wear the yellow star on their clothing for identification.”

In October, the Pakistan National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution condemning the publication of blasphemous caricatures in France and the “resurgence of Islamophobic acts” in some countries.

PM Imran Khan himself took to Twitter, lambasting the French President.

“Hallmark of a leader is he unites human beings, as Mandela did, rather than dividing them.

“This is a time when Pres Macron could have put a healing touch and deny space to extremists rather than creating further polarisation and marginalisation that inevitably leads to radicalisation.”

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