KARACHI: The Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) on Sunday staged a mammoth rally to express solidarity with Palestinian people and condemn Israeli air raids on civilian targets in Gaza. It also deplored silence of the Islamic world which, it believed, was indirectly supporting Zionists and their ambitions.
The JI also rejected the “so-called two-state formula” to allow Israel to maintain its occupation of the Arab land, and warned the United States of a protest march up to its embassy in Islamabad if it continued to support the Zionist ideology.
Thousands of people, including women and children, took part in JI’s ’Al Aqsa March, held mainly along Sharea Faisal. Not only JI leadership, but members of various civil society organisations also addressed the charged crowd.
Riding motorbikes, cars, vans, buses and other vehicles, people from all walks of life as well as leaders, workers and supporters of the participating organisations carrying placards and flags of Palestine attended the rally. The procession was joined by caravans at different intersections and roads leading to Sharea Faisal.
JI chief Siraj ul Haq in his address criticised the Islamic world in general and government of Pakistan in particular for their disappointing response to continuous Israeli air raids on Gaza over the last several days which caused hundreds of casualties to civilian men, women and children.
He expressed his dismay over the “traditional lukewarm attitude” always shown by the leadership of Islamic states in such naked aggression by Israeli occupation forces in the region.
He also warned that if the Israeli aggression was not stopped immediately, the situation could lead to a ‘third world war’.
“What could we expect more from rulers of Islamic states who have failed to show any courage for the people of Palestine,” he said. “But I warn them from this platform that the Ummah would never accept the intended occupation of Al Quds by the Jews. It’s the cowardice of the rulers which had encouraged Israel.
The Muslim countries have all the required resources, including seven million army troops, 4,000 tanks, 15,000 aircraft and 70 per cent of the world’s oil reserves at their disposal, but their rulers, as ever, failed even to timely call a meeting of the OIC,“ he wondered.
Apart from party workers and supporters, the march was also joined by various professional bodies, human rights, labour and civil society organisations.
Leaders and members of the Karachi Bar Association, National Labour Federation, Pakistan Steel Labour Organisaton and Sindh Farmers Front also joined the JI leaders on the stage.
JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rahman in his speech paid tribute to Karachiites, who showed their trust and support to his party.
“Whenever we gave a call, the people of Karachi came out of their homes in huge numbers,” he said. “Whether it’s a call for the rights of Karachi or Isaraeli aggression against our Palestinian brothers and sisters, they are always there with the Jamaat to register their protest. Today, they again took to the streets on JI’s call to express solidarity with the people of Gaza, he added.
Hafiz Naeem said this march proved that the Ummah was united for Palestine and this “huge crowd” was a clear message to the international community that Muslims of the entire world were united against Israel.
Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2023