Pakistan: Ban on Islamist party lifted after protests

Pakistan lifted the ban on a popular Islamist party after violent protests.

Islamabad – Pakistan lifted the ban on a popular Islamist party after violent protests. The Ministry of the Interior issued a corresponding notice on Sunday evening. Tehreek-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) can now again participate in the political events in the country, collect funds and access frozen bank accounts. The party became known in 2017 for advocating laws that provide for the death penalty for insulting Islam or the Prophet Muhammad.

At the end of last month, during protests, some of which were violent, thousands of TLP supporters demanded the expulsion of the French ambassador because of the publication of Mohammed cartoons in France the previous year. Several people were killed and dozen injured in the protests. Last week there was an agreement between the government and TLP. In the course of this, the TLP broke off its march on the capital Islamabad and promised not to hold any more violent protests in the future.

The TLP’s clashes with the government have been ongoing since 2020. The government refuses to deport the ambassador and instead banned the party in April. In 2020, the French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” republished Mohammed cartoons, sparking protests in parts of the Muslim world. Many Muslims reject a graphic representation of the prophet and find it offensive, but it is not explicitly forbidden in the Koran. (dpa)

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