October 20, 2023
By Maryam Missal & Asra Haque
Civil society in Lahore gathered at the Liberty Chowk on Thursday, to show solidarity with Palestine and urge Pakistani authorities to send aid to the conflicted region in the Middle East.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC), Women Action Forum (WAF), and many other organizations came forward apart from the Hakooq-e-Khalq Party (HKP) to condemn the attack on a hospital in Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of almost 500 Palestinians.
According to the official HKP statement, this demonstration serves as a collective expression of sorrow and anger in the wake of the recent bombings at Al-Ahly Hospital in Gaza, which resulted in the tragic loss of five hundred innocent lives.
HKP announced its unwavering solidarity with the Palestinian people in the face of relentless oppression. It emphasizes that resistance against all forms of injustice and violence perpetrated by Israeli extremism is a legitimate response for Palestinians who endure daily injustices and brutality.
The General Secretary of HKP, Farooq Tariq, said, ‘Pakistan should immediately break ties with Israel and also end colonial ties with the United States , (uas well as urge Egypt to send aid to Gaza and open doors to refugees.’ Tariq shared with Voicepk.net that they aim to gather a bigger crowd in the coming few days if the atrocities against Palestinian people are not stopped.
He said the party firmly believes that lasting peace in Gaza and Palestine cannot be achieved until Israel ceases its relentless demographic expansion and refrains from reclaiming the pre-1967 borders.
‘The bombing of Al-Ahly Hospital constitutes a blatant violation of international humanitarian laws, an act that stands as a chilling reminder of Israel’s disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force in the region.
This incident underscores the urgent need for immediate and decisive action by the international community to safeguard the rights and lives of Palestinians and to put an end to the cycle of violence and suffering.’
HKP officially stated that global unity was of utmost importance in addressing the dire situation in the Middle East. It called upon progressive forces worldwide to unite against Israel’s policies of ethnic cleansing, policies that have resulted in untold suffering and devastation in Palestine and Gaza. It is imperative for all peace-loving individuals and organizations to come together and work towards a just and enduring resolution.
Executive Director of South Asia Partnership Pakistan, Muhammad Tahseen, told Voicepk.net,
‘The state of Pakistan should firmly urge international bodies to find a solution to this conflict as today’s world war is not the solution. No one wins in war. The Israelis, Zionist lobby, and Arabs should sit together and find diplomatic grounds.’
He further added that Pakistan’s current government is in no position to pick sides or show power, but other ‘powers’ in Pakistan should step in and offer more than just sympathetic words.
Palestine’s Gaza is currently a warzone between Israel’s military forces and Hamas, a militant organization operating in the Middle East. The current death toll in Palestine has risen to 5000 following the attack on Al-Ahly Hospital, which claimed 500 lives on October 17.
Women Action Forum’s founding member, Khawar Mumtaz, spoke out in favour of Palestinians as she believes the protests being held in Pakistan are an expression of their anger towards what is happening in the world.
‘Whether our government, the Western world, or the Israeli government responds to our protests or not, they should know what we are feeling. We are citizens who feel empathy for those who are facing barbarity. We hope we can persuade our government to convince other Muslim countries to take a stand,’ said Mumtaz in conversation with Voicepk.net.