In Pakistan, Clashes Between Police, Islamists Reportedly Leave 2 Dead   

Clashes between a recently banned Islamist party and police in Pakistan’s second-largest city, Lahore, reportedly left at least two people dead and scores of others wounded Sunday.Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) was demanding that Pakistan expel the French ambassador over the French president’s remarks defending freedom of expression regarding caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Police from Punjab province said Sunday’s action was in response to the TLP attacking a police station, trapping officers and Rangers, members of a paramilitary force, inside, kidnapping a senior police officer, and stealing an oil tanker containing 50,000 liters of fuel.  “The miscreants were armed and attacked Rangers/Police with patrol bombs,” a tweet from Punjab police’s official Twitter handle said. The entire episode unfolded on social media as the mainstream news outlets, especially the country’s dozens of 24/7 television channels, were ordered not to report it. “Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority banned coverage of TLP,” tweeted senior journalist Hamir Mir, the anchor of a prime-time current affairs show on Pakistani Geo News TV channel.  Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority banned coverage of TLP TV channels are not covering the operation against TLP in Lahore but all information and videos are available on social media so PEMRA ban is now useless media will lose its credibility https://t.co/5Yi0ozVjhL
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) FILE – The coffin of slain teacher Samuel Paty is carried away in the courtyard of the Sorbonne university during a national memorial event, Oct. 21, 2020 in Paris.The incident came days after Paty showed his class controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet in a discussion on freedom of expression. The cartoons had been published in satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which came under a terrorist attack in January 2015. Many Muslims considered the images blasphemous. The October incident took place less than a month after a Pakistani immigrant stabbed two people outside Charlie Hebdo’s old Paris headquarters. In both cases, the suspects appeared to retaliate against the publication of the cartoons, which originally inspired the 2015 attack. French President Emmanuel Macron called Paty a hero and vowed to defend the country’s liberal values and freedom of expression, including the right to mock religion. His statement caused an uproar in parts of the Muslim world, including Pakistan, where the TLP led the charge in demanding Pakistan boycott French products and sever diplomatic ties with the country. After banning the TLP in his country, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday demanded the Western nations criminalize insulting Islam’s prophet in the same way that some countries make it a crime to deny the Holocaust occurred.    Those in the West, incl extreme right politicians, who deliberately indulge in such abuse & hate under guise of freedom of speech clearly lack moral sense & courage to apologise to the 1.3 bn Muslims for causing this hurt. We demand an apology from these extremists.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 17, 2021