Videos of ‘Pakistani Troops’ Backing Islamist Group Behind Anti-France Protests Appear Online

Asia & Pacific

Just days after Pakistan’s government banned the radical Islamist outfit Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) under its “anti-terrorism law”, authorities have opened negotiations with the hardline group, as per the Interior Ministry. The TLP on Monday released 11 Pakistani policemen it had taken hostage during a showdown with the security agencies.

Several videos of “Pakistani soldiers” as well as members of the police force appearing to back the radical Islamist group Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) have surfaced online, as the showdown between the government and the TLP continues in the South Asian country.

​In one of the videos, a soldier seems to call upon Pakistan’s powerful military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to rein in the police, accused of attacking TLP activists, who have been carrying out anti-france protests in the country over President Emmanuel Macron’s defence of the magazine Charlie Hebdo re-publishing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad last year.

In another video, scores of police personnel are seen ostensibly joining the ranks of the TLP amid cheers by the Islamist hardliners.

The anti-france protests in Pakistan have spanned several weeks across major cities, with the TLP calling for the expulsion of France’s Ambassador to Pakistan Marc Barety as well as a boycott of French products and businesses. The TLP’s deadline for expulsion of Barety expires on 20 April.

The French mission…

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