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France told citizens to depart from Pakistan in the midst of anti-French protests

France has urged all its citizens in Pakistan to leave the nation briefly in the midst of rough anti-French dissents over the country. The country's embassy in Pakistan cautioned of "serious dangers to French interests in Pakistan", saying challenges were expanding across the country.

Two police officers died this week in recharged clashes with protesters. The dissents were started months back after France protected the right to show cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

In October last year, French President Emmanuel Macron unequivocally guarded freedom of expression after the beheading of an instructor who showed such cartoons amid a class discussion. This provoked outrage in parts of the Muslim world, including Pakistan, where there were calls for a boycott of French products.

Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad are broadly respected as taboo in Islam and are considered profoundly hostile by Muslims. The protests raised this week after the Pakistani government captured Saad Hussain Rizvi, leader of the hard-line political party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), which has called for the removal of the French ambassador.

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