France recalls 15 diplomats from Pakistan

Paris: France has recalled 15 diplomats from Pakistan in the wake of violent protests and clashes involving a banned group that is demanding the expulsion of the French envoy over the publication of blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.

A total of 15 French diplomats, mostly secretaries and aides to department heads, have already left Pakistan or are set to return to Paris over the next few days, Le Figaro newspaper reported.

France advised its nationals and companies in Pakistan to temporarily leave the country because of the violent anti-France protests by TLP in many cities.

“Due to the serious threats to French interests in Pakistan, French nationals and French companies are advised to temporarily leave the country,” the French embassy said in an email sent to French citizens.

The “extremely rare” decision to recall the French diplomats “illustrates Paris’ impatience in the face of a crisis that has lasted for more than five months”, Le Figaro reported.

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