The French embassy in Pakistan has ordered its citizens living in Pakistan to leave the country, since then, the French community in Pakistan have been mired in uncertainty, fear and anger.
It should be noted that anti-French demonstrations took place in Pakistan this week which paralyzed several major cities of the country, after which the French embassy in the country asked French citizens and companies to leave Pakistan temporarily.
However, according to the international news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), there are many French citizens who have decided to stay in Pakistan.
An e-mail was sent from the French embassy on Thursday asking French citizens to leave Pakistan because of “serious threats”.
The e-mail did not mention the nature of the threats, but it did cause trouble for the small French community in Pakistan.
Jean-Michel Quarantotti, who teaches French at an American school in Islamabad, told AFP that he had been told by a student about the embassy’s advisory.
“I won’t hide from you that at first, I felt a little bit of fear, panic,” he told the news agency.
He said that Pakistan is not the first country where he is working. “I have worked in many countries before coming to Pakistan, but I was really surprised. I did not expect such a situation.
Jean-Michel said he first thought of packing his bags and leaving Pakistan, but after consulting with his colleagues, he decided to stay.
“Pakistanis around me advised me to stop.“It’s not my first foreign country — I did a lot before arriving in Pakistan — but I was really shocked. I didn’t expect to go through this.” he said.
When AFP contacted French citizens, they questioned the embassy’s e-mail being sent at a time when the Pakistani government had announced a ban on Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and the situation seemed to be under control.
According to the French citizen, he was offered by his office to be sent to Europe or to have armed guards outside his house, but he refused.
he went on saying, “The Pakistanis around me advised me to stay,” he said. “They told me that they would protect me.
“It was very touching to see the solidarity around me, from people who told me: ‘We are here for you, do not worry, we will defend you,” he added.
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