The latest conflict between Israel and Palestine after resulting in scores of casualties, has halted after a cease fire initiated by Egypt. As life slowly returns to normalcy, questions as to whether the truce will hold have already started surfacing.
The short war has already caused tremendous loss of life, including countless deaths of little children. Graphic images from the region being posted over various social media websites, show people uncovering lifeless bodies from the rubble after air strikes in Gaza, heavily bandaged children and civilians mourning over the bodies of loved ones.
After going viral, these images have shocked the world, begetting a series of protests and rallies demanding that Israel stop its air raids. Pakistan has a long standing Pro-Palestine stance and therefore a number of rallies and protests by political and religious parties were held to show solidarity with the Palestinians.
In Lahore, religious party Jamaat Islami led a strong march towards the US consulate chanting anti- American and anti- Israeli slogans. After expressing anger over the lack of concern by international human rights organization, the party leaders also blamed the Pakistani Government for not taking a strong stand against Israel.
The youth of Lahore also united for a peaceful demonstration of solidarity with Gaza. According to their event page on social networking site Facebook, the rally took place on November 21st and carried the following message:
“When you go to sleep at night 1.6 million people in Palestine stay awake to stay alive. Join our peaceful demonstration in Lahore, Pakistan to voice your protest against the brutal killings and a violation of humanity.”
In a private emergency session with United Nations on Wednesday Pakistan strongly condemned the attack on Gaza.
After an online attack on dozens of Israeli state website by acclaimed hacking group ‘Anonymous’, Pakistani hackers followed suit, defacing over 30 Israeli websites of leading brands. According to the website propakistani.pk hackers from Pakistan, after taking control of the pages, posted warnings to Israel against the attack on Palestine. A list of the hacked websites is also available.
As attacks on Gaza continued, a number of Pakistani lawmakers walked out of a parliamentary session as a sign of protest. The politicians belonged to different political parties including Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Muslim League – N (PMLN).
Political Party Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) has also announced its decision to observe a ‘Solidarity day with Gaza’ on Friday the 23rd of November. According to the party’s official website, the peaceful demonstration will speak out against the ‘atrocities being committed against the helpless people of Gaza’ and to show that Palestinians are not alone.
The Palestinian Foundation of Pakistan (PLF), launched in May 2008, has also declared Friday as ‘Gaza Solidarity Day. The foundation hopes to ‘highlight and create awareness among people about just Palestine cause that .The patrons for the foundation include members of various religious parties such as Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat’s Pirzada Aijaz Suhrawardy, Sahibzada Afzaal Noorani of Fidaiyan-e-Khatm-e-Nubuwat, Afsar Raza Khan of Imamia Organisation, Nasir Ali of ISO. The leaders made a joint press conference in Lahore, urging people to unite with Palestinians.
A video on their Facebook page also covers the protest led by the member of PLF outside Karachi Press Club on November 20th.
While the people of Pakistan show their full support for Palestine, a report condemning the media for not covering the issue enough has also been making rounds. The report claims that mainstream Pakistani media has been very selective over the information being broadcasted even though social media websites like Facebook and Twitter have been actively involved in creating awareness.
Using social media, people have raised concerns over the grave situation, displayed support and also condemned the government for being more involved in Gaza than in solving the serious terrorism back home.
@abdullasyed (Abdullah Syed): Trick question of the day? @etribune: (Poll) Has local media given sufficient coverage to the ongoing #Gaza conflict? #ETPoll
@beenasarwar (beena sarwar): MT @MuslimIQ: White phosphorus burns thru skin & muscle, into bone, continues till no more O2. #Israel Army is using this on #Gazacivilians
@BasmaSiddiqui: u watch CNN for 5 mins n u hate the US and Israel all over again :@#Gaza
@GibranAshraf: Dear #Gaza - please forgive us for our ignorance – but we are a little busy with bomblasts of our own!!
@alisalmanalvi: #Gaza is to Palestinians as #Pakistan is to Shias. The only difference is that Palestinians do get some respite. #ShiaGenocide #Pakistan
@Ali_Abbas_Zaidi: Only if “praying” for peace were enough. #Pakistan #Gaza
@xoyii_ (Zoya Altaf): SalmanMir07 and if we can raise our voice for #Gaza then why not our own people…they should come first! @anumb3