When France was rocked with Islamist terror attack over a cartoon on Prophet Muhammad, the Macron government decided to act tough on Islamic radicals something which didn’t go down well with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Instead of standing in solidarity with France, Khan went on a tirade against Macron and France in order to placate the radical Islamists hustling and bustling in Pakistan. Since then, the bilateral relations between the countries have nosedived with Marcon’s top diplomatic advisor claiming that France’s relationship with Pakistan is at a ‘historic low’.
In what can be read as yet another feather in the cap of Pakistan PM Imran Khan, the bilateral relations between France and Pakistan have reached a point of no return — something which is entirely of Khan’s making.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s top diplomatic advisor, Emmanuel Bonne in the backdrop of the comments made by Pakistan’s leadership against France said, “During this crisis, after the campaign against us, our relations with Pakistan probably are at a historic low. This is not exactly what we want, we assume it because our priorities and language are clear.”
Khan’s decision to directly hit out at Macron didn’t go down well in France and the fact that widespread anti-France protests which broke out in Pakistan over France’s crackdown on radical Islamists further exacerbated the situation. Apart from the calls of boycotting French products, a certain section of Pakistani lawmakers also called for recalling country’s envoy to France.
At such a time, India stood like a rock behind France with PM Modi publicly lending his support to France and Macron. In fact, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement India where it deplored the “personal attacks in unacceptable language”which was”in violation of the most basic standards of international discourse”.
“We very much appreciate the support we got not only from your authorities but also from Indian civil society, when our country was under attack by some leaders in Turkey and Pakistan and in other countries,” said Boone while speaking at Vivekananda Foundation.
He added, that Turkey and Pakistan were trying to “create distance between us and the Muslim world and this was certainly not what we were doing, certainly what we don’t want, this is for the simple reason that we have a long history with the Muslim world. We have affinities with countries in the Muslim world. It was critical for us to able to say, India is reverse in this, which means you are countering disinformation, fighting terrorism.”
Pakistan’s zeal for radical Islamists and the sheer incompetence of Imran Khan has ensured that its relations with France have hit rock bottom.