LAHORE: Jamaat-e-Islami Emir Sirajul Haq has condemned the mainstream political leadership’s silence on Israeli atrocities in Gaza, attributing it to a fear of the United States.

Addressing the Gaza March in front of the Shaikh Zayad Hospital near the Punjab University’s Old Campus on Sunday, he criticised the politicians for prioritising ‘self-interest’ and focusing on winning the upcoming elections in regions like Balochistan or Sindh, while neglecting the dire situation in Palestine, where innocent children and women are being massacred by the Zionist state.

He regretted that these leaders never truly represented the nation’s sentiments on crucial issues, always aiming to please Washington and secure power with its backing.

Thousands of people, including women and children, participated in the march to show solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Palestinian representative Dr Nawaf al-Takrouri also attended the event, expressing gratitude to the people and the JI for raising their voices for Palestine.

JI naib emir Liaquat Baloch and secretary general Amirul Azeem also addressed the gathering.

Mr Haq urged the people to vote for JI in the upcoming elections, emphasising the need to eliminate the influence of ‘US agents’ in the country.

He stated that over four billion people would cast their votes in 76 countries of the world with elections scheduled next year. “One could never expect rigging in any country except in Pakistan,” he lamented, calling for free and transparent general elections in February 2024.

The JI chief pointed out that Pakistan’s ambassador did not meet with the Palestinian leadership in Doha due to fear of the US, contrasting it with diplomats from other countries who expressed solidarity with Palestine.

He questioned the absence of the caretaker prime minister or any government representative in the Gaza march, stating that people knew the reason well.

While acknowledging global pro-Palestine rallies and public pressure in the Western countries to revise policies supporting Israel, he criticised the Muslim rulers for failing to take practical steps to support Gazans.

Referring to the OIC’s ‘ineffective’ declaration, he stressed that history would remember the cowardice of Islamic world rulers in the face of the ongoing crisis.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2023

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