HARD TALK on Protests in Pakistan on France Cartoons on Prophet

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Adil Najam, a Pakistani academic and intellectual who serves as the inaugural dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, and previously served as vice-chancellor of the LUMS gives his views on the violent protests in Pakistan.

The protests were over the outrage by French govt. support for the publication of cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Pakistani government’s failure to meet the recently banned far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) demands. Several fatalities were reported during the protests and clashes with law enforcing authorities.

An observer in Pakistan says TLP is a political party vying for space in the political dispensation and is using the platform of Namoos e Risalat (as it sells in Pakistan), hence the difference in the character of protests.

A political observer blames PM Khan-led government for the law and order failure which led to several fatalities.

Another blames on the absence of rule of law in the society.

TLP has been demanding sending home the French Ambassador. Khan’s government and civil societies consider the demand won’t make “two wrongs one right.”

Khan has been vocal on the rise of Islamaphobia in the West and has protested the publication of cartoons in France depicting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Other Muslim-majority countries have also voiced similar concerns.