MUZAFFARABAD: Thousands of people, mostly students, took out rallies in two towns of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Thursday to condemn the mass killings of innocent and unarmed Palestinians in Gaza by Israel.
The show in Rawalakot, district headquarters of Poonch, was impressive as its participants included thousands of young boys and girl students from state-run and private educational institutions, who were wearing their respective uniforms.
Some girls had put on robes, abayas and headgears, imprinted with Palestinian flags.
They were holding flags of Azad Kashmir and Palestine as well as large banners and placards depicting and condemning the latest spell of terrorism unleashed by the Zionists in Gaza since early last month and expressing solidarity with the victim population.
Participants of one rally carry mock coffins of UN, OIC and effigy of Israeli prime minister
“We are Kashmir as well as Palestine and we call for justice,” one placard read.
Earlier, the students arrived from their institutions on the playground of Captain Hussain Khan Shaheed Government Postgraduate College, from where they took out a joint huge ‘Gaza March.’
The march, after parading through a main thoroughfare, concluded at Khan Ashraf Khan Stadium.
Apart from the students, the participants also included heads and faculty members of the educational institution in addition to deputy commissioner Mumtaz Kazmi, SP Khawar Ali Shaukat and officers and non-gazetted employees of education, electricity, revenue, civil defence and other departments.
In Khan Ashraf Stadium, groups of students chorused motivational songs in Urdu, English and Arabic languages.
Talking to reporters on the occasion, student leaders pointed out that the Israeli conduct was the worst ever manifestation of terrorism, as it was bombarding and killing innocent people in hospitals and UN buildings with impunity.
“Let our Palestinian brethren know that the Kashmiris who are themselves the victims of Indian repression understand their pain and stand by them and their cause,” one young speaker said.
Another young speaker remarked that the undaunted Palestinians had been writing with their blood a history of courage and bravery.
“The Zionists are burying innocent children under the rubble of buildings with impunity and the world community, particularly the Muslim world, is witnessing it either as collaborators or spectators. This is unbearable and intolerable,” she said.
Deputy Commissioner Kazmi said the huge gathering of young students and other residents of Rawalakot was aimed at showing their support for the cause of Palestinians on the one hand and condemning Israel’s savagery on the other.
“I salute this gathering for its feelings for their Palestinian brethren who are braving the worst ever bloodthirstiness by the savage Israelis,” he said.
In Garhi Dupatta, some 25 kilometres south of here along Jhelum valley road, tens of hundreds of people from different walks of life staged a demonstration to condemn genocide of Palestinians by Israel.
Apart from banners and placards and Palestinian flags, some participants were also carrying mock coffins of United Nations and Organisation of Islamic Conference as well as an effigy of Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu which they torched at the conclusion of the rally amid vociferous anti-Israel slogans.
Calling for a complete boycott of Israeli products particularly by the Muslim world, they took strong exception to those Muslim leaders who, they said, were keeping mum over Israeli terrorism in Gaza.
Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2023