Civil society in Karachi forms Palestine Solidarity Committee, demands immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Published November 21, 2023
Fahim Zaman (centre) addresses the media during the press conference on Monday. — Photo by the author.
Fahim Zaman (centre) addresses the media during the press conference on Monday. — Photo by the author.

KARACHI: Demanding immediate cessation of the barbaric Israeli attacks against the unarmed civilians of Palestine, members of the newly formed Palestine Solidarity Committee on Monday appealed to the people of the city to come out and stand with them in the city on Nov 29 to express their support for the people of Gaza.

Speaking at a press conference here at the Karachi Press Club, former city administrator Fahim Zaman invited the people to gather at the Tariq Road intersection of Shahrah-i-Quaideen at 3.30pm on Nov 29.

He said that the United Nations declared Nov 29 as an international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

“Since October 7, international agencies and United Nation organisations have been documenting evidence of war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the occupied Palestinian territories, including indiscriminate bombardments and other unlawful attacks by Israeli forces causing mass civilian casualties and destruction of infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank.

“In the Gaza Strip alone, more than 12,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands critically injured by indiscriminate Israeli bombardments and fire so far. More than two-thirds of these victims are women and children. The double standard of Western powers exposing their hypocrisy is not only shameful but outright criminal,” he said.

“While the massive show of solidarity for the Palestinian people and continuous demonstrations against Israeli brutality by the people in the Western world is forcing their colluding governments to change their outright support for Israel and put it in a defensive mode, our leaders here, for their own ulterior motives and small gains, have mortgaged their country. Therefore, we don’t see them coming out to support Palestine like they really should.

“But our hearts bleed for Palestine. We have formed the Palestine Solidarity Committee for all those who feel like we do to come and join us to raise our voices for Palestine,” said Mr Zaman.

“Today people in Europe and America, too, are sensitive to the Palestinians’ suffering and coming out in big numbers in their defense,” pointed out Advocate Akhtar Hussain of the Awami Workers Party.

“We are not politicians. We will all come out for Palestine in our personal capacities on the day,” said civil activist Umar Farooq.

The committee members said that they are also joined in their cause by other well-known people of the city, including, Anam Khan, Faisal Edhi, Kazim Hasan, Faisal Siddique, Shahab Usto, Khalid Mehmood, Naeem Sadiq, Sheema Kermani, Adeela Suleman, Amar Mehboob, Mohsin Sayeed, Tariq Fuad, Kishwar Zehra, Syed Shabbar Zaidi, Professor Saleem Memon, Noman Quadri, Syed Khawar Mehdi and Shakil Jafri.

They said they are also reaching out to politicians, trade unionists, factory workers, lawyers, students, communities, etc, in order to mobilise them for the cause.

Mr Zaman read out their charter of demands, including, immediate ceasefire in Gaza, immediate legal proceeding against the Zionist Israeli civil and military leadership and their comrades in arms in the International Criminal Court, paying of war reparations to Palestine countries supporting Israel’s military actions and United Nations and its member states committing to rehabilitation of the families of the people killed and injured due to Israel’s war crimes along with immediate removal of illegal Zionist settlements and further colonisation of Palestinian lands.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2023

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