On Sunday, Tens of thousands of Pakistanis marched against a recent, controversial pact between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel meant to regularize bilateral relations, including opening embassies in each other’s territory.
Demonstrations and rallies were held in the capital city of Islamabad, port city of Karachi, northeastern city of Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Quetta, Faisalabad, Multan, Hyderabad, and dozens of other cities and towns on the call of Milli Yakjehti Council, a religio-political alliance.
In Rawalpindi city, thousands marched through the city’s road led by Senator Sirajul Haq, chief of the country’s mainstream, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party.
The day observed as “Palestine Day” by the JI to show solidarity, and support the Palestinians’ resistance against Zionist occupation (since at least 1967).
The protestors carrying banners, and placards with slogans such as “Down with Israel,” “UAE-Israel pact on US pressure unacceptable,” and “Pakistanis stand with Palestinians,” among others, the other protesters get to gather at the historic Liaquat Park to begin the rally.
Haq, while addressing the participants, uttered Palestine was not the issue of Arabs only but the entire Muslim world.
He further added that Palestine is the land of Palestinians and no deal or retrograding can deprive them of their fundamental right. The Palestinians have been combating for their land for over 70 years. But, until no country has disgraced itself as UAE has done… the whole Muslim world rejects this so-called deal, even if some Muslim governments accept it.”
He urged Islamabad to try convening an urgent meeting of the Organization of Islamic cooperation to discuss the latest situation.
Hundreds of protestors gathered in Karachi, outside the Karachi Press Club to condemn the deal between UAE-Israel.
Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, JI Karachi chief termed the deal a big blow to Muslim unity, and backstabbing of Palestinians.
He added neither the UAE nor any other country had the right to accept Israeli occupation of Palestinian land in the name of so called peace.
Another protest rally conducted by JI outside the Lahore Press Club, which was addressed by the party’s Ameerul Azim, secretary general, and other leaders.
A large number of people gathered at the historic Mahabat Khan Mosque In Peshawar, the capital of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and marched towards Yadgar Chowk, to register their protest.
This pact is the third Israeli-Arab peace treaty in the Middle East and the first involving a Gulf state. As some have welcomed the pact, Palestinians, Iran and Turkey have denounced it.