All roads leading to the French Embassy have been closed due to security concerns in Islamabad. The area between the SP City office and the diplomatic enclave has also been sealed off.

Protests across Pakistan by members of the religious party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) have now entered the third day. TLP members have been calling for the expulsion of the French ambassador from Pakistan over the issue of blasphemous cartoons published in France. Last month, the Islamabad police had arrested a man for attempting to attack the French embassy with a submachine gun.

The arrest of TLP chief Saad Hussain Rizvi on Monday led to charged protests across all major cities, with severe clashes between TLP activists and police officers.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said the government has no plans to releasing Saad Rizvi yet, and order will be restored across the country soon. Meanwhile, Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudry said that dictation from any party or group is indigestible for the government.

At least four people, including two policemen, have died as a result of the clashes. Meanwhile, over 200 police officers sustained injuries.

Traffic has been reopened in Bhara Kahu, Murree Road in the presence of rangers and police officers in the capital.

All entry and exit points of Islamabad have also been cleared for traffic. Police have also cleared the Metro track of protestors.


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