Home News ‘All eyes on Rafah,’ tens of thousands rally in Karachi

‘All eyes on Rafah,’ tens of thousands rally in Karachi

‘All eyes on Rafah,’ tens of thousands rally in Karachi

Protesters packed main road in Karachi, the capital of Sindh province of Pakistan

Aamir Latif 

Tens of thousands of protesters packed the main road in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi on Sunday to denounce the Israeli offensive of Gaza that has killed over 36,400 people, mostly children and women, since last October.

Organized by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), the country’s mainstream religiopolitical party, and attended by thousands of women and children as well, the rally was part of the global movement “All Eyes On Rafah.”

Carrying tri-color Palestinian flags and banners, inscribed with anti-Israel slogans, the protesters started to gather at the Shahrah-e-Faisal Road at 4 p.m. local time (1100GMT) from different parts of the city.

It was a hot day as the South Asian country has been in the grip of a severe heat wave, while protesters, many of them wearing the Palestinian scarf “keffiyeh,” kept pouring in.

“Stop Genocide in Gaza” was engraved on the main banner displayed on an overhead bridge, while another was inscribed with “Labbaik ya Aqsa” (Aqsa, we are here) and “Salute to Hamas resistance.”

A group of young protesters carried a 30-meter-long (approximately 100 feet) Palestinian flag as a mark of respect to those who died in Gaza.

A large number of Christians also took part in the rally.

This was the third major pro-Palestine march in the country’s commercial capital this year as Pakistan has seen massive protest rallies following Israel’s onslaught.

“Free free Palestine,” protesters shouted in unison as the JI’s newly-elected chief, Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman, and other party leaders made a human chain on the stage.

“Israel is humiliating the humanity. The way its forces are bombing even those areas, which themselves have declared so-called safe zones,” Rehman said in his address.

He accused the US of toeing a policy of “bigotry” to allow Tel Aviv to invade Rafah by providing “all kinds of lethal weapons.”

“On the one hand, Washington claims it wants a cease-fire, and on the other, it continues equipping Israel with lethal weapons to carry on its onslaught,” he added.

He claimed that Arab leaders, instead of supporting Hamas and Palestinians, “are trying to save their kingdoms.”

“We will not leave Hamas and Palestinians alone in their just struggle. The people of Pakistan, together with the ‘people with conscience,’ continue to support Palestinians,” he went on to say.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip in retaliation for an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas which killed some 1,200 people.

More than 36,400 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israel began its onslaught nearly eight months ago. The majority of those killed have been women and children, with over 82,600 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Vast tracts of Gaza lay in ruins amid Israel’s crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war.

Read: Thousands of people join anti-Israel rallies in Karachi


Aamir Latif is a Karachi-based senior journalist. He represents Anadolu, a Turkish news agency

Courtesy: Anadolu Agency (Posted on June 2, 2024)


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