The Sindh Assembly demanded on Friday an immediate end to Israeli atrocities against Palestinians and urged the federal government to raise the issue before the United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and exert pressure on the international community.
At least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, and 12 Israelis, including two children, were killed in 11 days of conflict before a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas came into force on Friday.
At the outset of the session, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah requested Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani to set aside the agenda and discuss only the resolution, moved jointly by the treasury and opposition members, condemning Israeli atrocities against Palestine. The resolution termed the continuous blockade of Gaza by Israel as tantamount to the largest concentration camp in modern times.
It condemned unprovoked attacks and ongoing terrorism by the “fascist” Israeli state against the Palestinian people.
The house expressed deep concern over the recent escalation of hostilities against the Palestinian people and the attack on the Al Aqsa Mosque. Amid passionate speeches condemning Israeli atrocities by lawmakers on either side of the aisle, the house also witnessed the introduction of the Sindh Protection of Journalists and Other Media Practitioners bill 2021.
The proposed law was referred to the Standing Committee on Law, which is to debate over the bill and present its report before the house within three days. According to Sindh Information Minister, who submitted the bill, the proposed legislation has been prepared by his department in consultation with the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, the Karachi Union of Journalists and senior journalists, including Touseef Ahmed Khan, Mazhar Abbas, Fazil Jamali, Dr Jabbar Khattak, Owais Aslam Ali and Qazi Asif.
Call for action “This house reiterates its consistent support for the fundamental rights of the Palestine people and the realisation of their right to self-determination and two state solution,” read the resolution, calling upon the Sindh government to immediately take up the matter with the federal government.
The resolution urged the latter to convey to the international community that the people of Pakistan stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
“Israel after attacking innocent Palestinians does not even bother to justify why such atrocities were committed,” said the CM, speaking on the resolution.
According to him, after the judicial murder of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, no other Pakistani leader has taken up the cause of Palestine before the international community.
“We would have not faced such a situatuion today, if we had leaders like Bhutto, [former chairperson of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation] Yasser Arafat and [late King] Shah Faisal of Saudi Arabia,” he said, adding that both Bhutto and Shah Faisal were killed shortly after they made efforts to unite the Muslim Ummah.
“It was Benazir Bhutto who refused to get permission from Israel during her visit to Gaza. I request the federal government to take up the issue of Palestinians and Kashmiri alike at all forums in the world,” the CM remastered.
Reading out the joint-resolution moved by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Rabia Azfar, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) Mangla Sharma and Grand Democratic Alliance’s (GDA) Nusrat Seher Abbasi, Azfar called for an end to Israel’s war crimes and the genocide of Palestinian people.
“The entire Muslim community should join hands on this issue and play a practical role instead of [merely] adopting resolutions,” said Azfar. Seconding her, Abbasi dubbed Israel a terrorist state and stated that no religion permits the killing of worshippers at any holy place.
“The attack on [Al Aqsa mosque is an attack on humanity.” Meanwhile, referring to the UN Charter, PPP’s Jam Shabbir Ali said that Israel does not value human rights but champions of human rights in the West are silent on the matter.
Sharma, MQM-P’s Kanwar Naveed Jameel, PTI’s Bilal Ghaffar and Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal’s (MMA) Syed Abdul Rasheed, PPP’s Sharmila Farooqi and Shehla Raza and banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s Sarwat Fatima also spoke on the resolution.
After charged speeches, the house unanimously adopted the resolution and the session was adjourned till Monday (May 24).