LAHORE: On the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Palestine Solidarity Day will be observed throughout the country on Friday (today) to express support to the oppressed people of Palestine, Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council and Special Aide to Prime Minister on Religious Harmony and Middle East, told a press conference here on Thursday.

He said Israel was constantly targeting children and women in Gaza, which is “red line for the entire Ummah”.

On the instructions of President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan Red Crescent Society will provide medicines to the Palestinian brothers and every possible effort would be made to assist Palestinians. Also, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in the OIC Foreign Ministers’ meeting said that OIC and Muslim countries should decide the course of action and Pakistan will stand firmly behind the decision.

PAT: The Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) will take out rallies all over Pakistan to express solidarity with the Palestinians, PAT secretary-general Khurram Nawaz Ghandapur said after the meeting central working council. He told media that Israel was committing “war crimes by targeting civilians, minors, women and elderly”.

JI: The Jamaat-i-Islami will also organise countrywide Palestine Solidarity Rallies on Friday.

MARCH: A solidarity march for the people of Palestine was held from the Siddique Trade Centre on Main Boulevard, Gulberg, to Liberty Roundabout on Thursday.

Organised by associations of medical and dental students, a non-government organisation and a youth collective, the march was attended by around 500 to 600 youths, including some Palestinians living in Lahore, as per the organisers.

The groups behind the event set wearing of face masks and following of all Covid-19 standard operating procedures as prerequisites for anyone attending the march.

The participants gathered at Siddique Trade Centre around 4pm and later marched towards the Liberty Roundabout waving Palestinian flags, carrying placards and posters and chanting slogans for the freedom of Palestine from Israeli occupation.

Once the march culminated, the crowd also swelled. The participants played Palestinian national songs and anthems and delivered speeches to express solidarity with the Palestinian people experiencing brutality at the hands of Israeli security forces.

One of the organisers, Aneeqa Aslam, founder and president of the Pakistan Association of Dental Students, said the purpose of the march was to educate the masses about the history of Palestinian people’s struggle and resistance, and tell them why it was important to raise one’s voice for the people facing injustice. She said they highlighted in their speeches at the march that people should continue talking about the issue and come out of their houses for it till it was resolved.

They also demanded an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza strip and West Bank and the Pakistan government send aid to the Palestinian people who have suffered over the past two weeks.

Even after a ceasefire, Pakistan should keep extending full support to the occupied region, Ms Aslam added.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2021

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