Islamabad Police has foiled a bid to attack the French embassy as it arrested a man, carrying a submachine gun, outside gate 1 of the Diplomatic Enclave in the federal capital.

According to a statement by the police, the suspect wanted to attack the French embassy “with a weapon he had snatched from the police”. The man wanted to attack the embassy over blasphemous sketches by a French magazine.

The police said that the suspect was a resident of Sargodha who had travelled to Islamabad to teach the French government a lesson over the cartoons. He told police he had fired shot in the air to clear the way to the embassy as he had intentions to attack it.

Last year, protests broke out in several Muslim countries over France’s response to a deadly attack on a teacher who showed blasphemous cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) to pupils during a class. Pakistan and other Muslim-majority countries had accused France’s government of being Islamophobic and needlessly provoking believers.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had also said that French President Emmanuel Macron “attacked Islam” by encouraging the display of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

“Sadly, President Macron has chosen to deliberately provoke Muslims, incl his own citizens, through encouraging the display of blasphemous cartoons targeting Islam & our Prophet PBUH,” the PM had said on Twitter.

Anas Mallick is an international journalist who has been working as a field reporter for 7+ years now. With a focus on diplomacy, militancy, and conflict, Mallick's expertise involve Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. He tweets at @AnasMallick


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