Pakistan to boycott French Products, says Islamist group

A Pakistani Islamist group called off protests over cartoons of Prophet Mohammad on Tuesday saying the government had agreed to their demand for a boycott of French products, the group’s spokesman said. Thousands of Islamists had clashed with police on the edge of the capital, Islamabad, on Monday in protests over the recent display of cartoons of the Prophet in France.

“We are calling off our protests after the government signed an agreement that it will officially endorse boycotting French products,” Ejaz Ashrafi, a spokesman for the Tehrik-i-Labaik group, told Reuters by telephone.

The government spokesman was not immediately available for comment on the agreement, which, according to a copy provided by the group and seen by Reuters, was signed by two ministers, a top official and the group’s leaders.

The French embassy in Islamabad declined to comment and Pakistan’s foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Protests broke out in several Muslim countries over France’s response to a deadly attack last month on a teacher who showed cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammad to pupils during a civics lesson.

For Muslims, depictions of the Prophet are blasphemous. Pakistan condemned the re-printing of the cartoons.

The agreement between the group and the government also stipulated that the Pakistani parliament would decide within three months on whether to expel the French ambassador

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