France does not express any interest in the current (end of October 2021) Islamist riots shaking Pakistan. However, like in the 2020 fall and like last April, our country is directly concerned, not to say threatened. Unfortunately, almost no information is publicly shared about this topic. Generally speaking, sources are scarce and not reliable. Numerous pictures in the Pakistani and in the foreign media are from April 2021 or even from years before, while they are supposed to represent the today events. Nevertheless, the inextricable situation in which PM Imran Khan engaged his 220 million of Muslim fellow citizens is of importance due to its potential domestic and international consequences. We cannot, here, pretend to give a sharper and more detailed view of the situation. However, we will take advantage of the precious enlightening posted on Twitter by M. Ahmed Quraishi.
Ahmed Quraishi’s Twitter thread from October 29 to October 30, 2021
Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the country’s political+military leaders are held hostage by extremist Islamists, literally forced to reconfirm their allegiance to Islam! The hordes threaten to storm the capital. Perfect script for a historical drama reliving 11th century in 21st. #TLP…meanwhile, in Islamabad, which resembles Baghdad just before the Mongols stormed it. [Or Rome as Nero fiddles]
Pictures from Ahmed Quraishi’s tweet of October 29, 2021. Pictures source: left – Evening News – October 28, 2021, top right – Daily Pakistan – October 28, 2021, medium right : Tribune PK – April 14, 2021, bottom right : Dawn –November 9, 2018.
Reported divisions within PM Imran Khan Government on how to deal with banned TLP religious group threatening to storm Pakistan capital Islamabad. Meanwhile, discontent inside Punjab Police, where officers believe Government and state abandoned them before religious extremists.
Religious extremists [armed with firearms, according to Govt] almost take over Wazirabad, an industrial city 100 km from Pakistan’s second largest city Lahore, on the route to capital Islamabad. They’re staying put pending negotiations with PM Imran Khan’s Government.
To sum it up: Pakistan’s Govt and extremists are locked in a duel over who defends Prophet Mohammed PBUH more. 56 other Muslim-majority countries are clueless what the fight is about; no media coverage so their extremists are not inspired by Pakistan’s events.
Oman receives top France lawmaker involved in defense policy as the Govt in neighboring Pakistan is paralyzed by demands to sever ties w/ Paris.
Other Muslim-majority nations [ie Kuwait, Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey] expand ties:
After setbacks in Iran+Turkey for PM Imran Khan’s idea of a united front against France, PM is trying to get KSA on board. Needs this win for his vote base. Indonesia is moving ahead with Rafale deal; Kuwait receives French helicopters, & Sudan is closely working with Paris.Ahmed Quraishi embedded tweet from May 14, 2021
This discussion on Threadreader.
Short summary of the events as per Evening News
« The march of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) is getting closer to Islamabad. With this, the beatings of the Imran Khan government of Pakistan are increasing. This is the reason why Imran has decided to convene a meeting of the National Security Committee, the largest body of security affairs, on Friday. The Chiefs of Army and ISI will also participate in this. The TLP has started the Islamabad march on 4 demands, including the removal of the French ambassador from the country.
« Meanwhile, the number of policemen killed in TLP attacks has gone up to 6. Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhary said on Thursday – We consider TLP as a terrorist. They will be dealt with strictly. The question of blackmail does not arise…
« TLP demands that the Prophet was insulted in France, so the French Ambassador should be immediately expelled from Pakistan. The Imran government had promised to hold a debate on this in Parliament. The TLP chief was arrested on 12 April even before the bill was introduced. TLP is a religious and political party. He got 24 lakh votes in the last election. The Imran government cannot take any action against France, because it will turn the European Union and America against it. Here, TLP was banned due to political compulsions, but the government and the army are afraid to take strict steps.«
October 28, 2021 – Read more on Evening News: Deteriorating situation: Lubbeck’s march near Islamabad, Imran calls emergency meeting of National Security Committee
About Ahmed Quraishi (according to his LinkedIn profile)
Ahmed Quraishi is a journalist, author, and a television personality, with two decades of experience in the Pakistan/Gulf/MENA region. He worked as a war correspondent in Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan for international media organizations, and delivered lectures on the Yemen and Iraq conflicts at international forums, including the United Nations.
- Senior Fellow at Geneva International Center for Justice (G.I.C.J.), Geneva.
- Contributor, International Institute for Iranian Studies, Riyadh.
- Senior Research Fellow, Project Pakistan 21, Islamabad.
- Lobbyist, YFK-International Kashmir Lobby Group, Islamabad.
Other articles on this blog about the same topic
Please note that the following articles have not been reviewed by Ahmed Quraishi. They may not reflect his position and can even be contrary to his opinion. One article reflects a the thoughts of a Pakistani gentleman who prefers to stay anonymous for safety purpose. The two other ones present Bernard Grua’s views, on a, by choice, French perspective.