Gulf Today

Government banned TLP as it challenged writ of state: Imran

PM urges western government­s to penalise those deliberate­ly spreading message of hate against Muslims; French nationals in Pakistan refuse embassy call to leave

- Tariq Butt

Prime Minister Imran Khan has made it clear that the government took action against Tehrike-labaik Pakistan (TLP) under anti-terrorism law when it challenged the writ of the state and used street violence.

In a series of tweets on Saturday, the prime minister said the TLP atacked the public and the law enforcers. He said no one can be above the law and the constituti­on.

“Let me make clear to people here and abroad: Our government only took action against TLP under our anti-terrorist law when they challenged the writ of the state and used street violence and atacking the public and law enforcers,” the premier said.

“No one can be above the law and the Constituti­on,” he remarked.

In another tweet, Imran said: “My message to extremists abroad who indulge in Islamophob­ia and racist slurs to hurt and cause pain to 1.3 billion Muslims across the globe: We Muslims have the greatest love and respect for our Prophet (PBUH) who lives in our hearts. We cannot tolerate any such disrespect and abuse.” He said those doing so under the guise of freedom of speech, clearly lack moral sense and courage to apologise to the Muslims for causing this hurt. We demand an apology from these extremists.

Imran called upon the western government­s who have outlawed any negative comment on the Holocaust to use the same standards to penalise those deliberate­ly spreading their message of hate against Muslims by abusing our Prophet (PBUH).

The French community in Pakistan is torn between disbelief, fear and annoyance in reaction to their embassy’s call for them to leave the country ater Francophob­ic rioting this week by an extremist party.

Most, it seems, have decided to stay put. In a terse three-line email, accompanie­d by the words “urgent,” the embassy in Islamabad on Thursday recommende­d its nationals and French companies temporaril­y leave Pakistan, because of “serious threats.”

The email, which did not specify the nature of the risks, caused shock and consternat­ion among the few hundred-strong French community.

Jean-michel Quarantoti, who has taught French at the American school in Islamabad for three years, was first alerted to the embassy advisory by a student.

“I won’t hide from you that at first litle bit of fear, panic,” he said.

“It’s not my first foreign country — I did a lot before arriving in Pakistan — but I was really shocked. I didn’t expect to go through this.”

His first thought was to pack up and leave, but ater discussing the situation with colleagues he said reason took over from emotion.

“The Pakistanis around me advised me to stay,” he said. “They told me that they would protect me.”

“It was very touching to see the solidarity around me, from people who told me: ‘We are here for you, do not worry, we will defend you.’”

Many of the French people questioned the timing of the embassy’s message as the Pakistani government had just announced the ban on the TLP and seemed to have the

I felt a situation under control. “Yes, there are a lot of risks to live here,” said Quarantoti, “but we don’t need to panic the French community with words that are badly chosen.

“We wonder a litle why France needed to publicise this message at the internatio­nal level, when it could have given a much more discreet message to the (French) community.”

Fellow national Julien — an assumed name because he does not wish to divulge his identity — has also chosen to stay put.

“It’s a recommenda­tion, so I won’t leave,” he said.

The leaders and activists of the TLP will face multiple grave consequenc­es like sealing of their offices, travel ban and confiscati­on of their banks accounts under the law.

The federal government has sweeping powers to proscribe an organisati­on, which is found involved in three grounds, the principal among them being terrorism.

It may proceed on an ex-parte basis in banning the particular entity.

 ?? Agence France-presse ?? ↑
Vendors selling wristwatch­es sit along a closed market after a lockdown was imposed in Quetta on Saturday.
Agence France-presse ↑ Vendors selling wristwatch­es sit along a closed market after a lockdown was imposed in Quetta on Saturday.

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