Dutch ambassador to return to Pakistan after Wilders row: report

Published: January 26, 2019


THE HAGUE: The Dutch ambassador to Pakistan is to return to Islamabad next month after receiving a death threat last year during protests by a religious party angry over anti-Islam tweets by far-right politician Geert Wilders, Dutch media said Saturday.

Ardi Stoios-Braken “will fly back to Islamabad in early February,” the daily tabloid Algemeen Dagblad reported.

She was on leave in the Netherlands in late October last year when she received word “that a letter arrived at the embassy from Pakistani authorities.”

Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker backtracks on blasphemous caricature contest

“The letter spoke of a ‘specific threat’ and was related to the blasphemous caricature contest which had already been cancelled months before,” the paper said.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said in November that Stoios-Braken, a veteran diplomat, faced ‘threats’ in Pakistan.

Wilders in August called off a planned blasphemous caricature competition that stirred anger in the country.

The interior ministry in October wrote a secret memo on plans to ‘target’ the Dutch ambassador by the hardline Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), media from both countries reported at the time.

The TLP, founded in 2015, led protests in August calling for Pakistan to sever diplomatic relations with the Netherlands over the Wilders caricature contest.

Pakistan protests with Dutch govt over blasphemous caricature contest

The TLP has denied making any threats.

The government has since launched a crackdown on the TLP, charging its leaders with sedition and terrorism.

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