Political, religious parties demand govt action on Gaza

* Call upon OIC, UN to help halt Israel’s bombardment * PML-N assures conference matter would be raised at international fora

LAHORE: As many as 32 religious and political parties, including the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and Christian and Hindu communities have condemned Israel’s brutality against the Palestinians and demanded the government raise its voice over this issue at all the international platforms.
The Pakistan Ulema Council (PAC) Lahore held a Palestine Solidarity Conference at the Lahore Press Club on Sunday. PAC Chairman Maulana Tahir Ashrafi presided over the conference in which Christian scholar Bishop Sabtain, Father Shahid Meraj, Hindu community’s leader Dr Munawar Chand, Dr Ramesh Kumar, Shia Ulema Council leader Hafiz Kazim, Maulana Abul Khabir Azad, JUP’s Sardar Muhammad Khan Leghari, Sunni Ittehad Council’s Per Mehfooz Mashhadi, Jamiat Ahle-e-Hadith’s Dr Abdul Ghaffor, JUI-F’s Hafiz Riaz Durrani and Maulana Amjad, PAC’s Hafiz Muhammad Amjad and Maulana Muhammad Mushtaq, Maulana Abdul Qayyum, Maulana Ashfaq, Maulana Mumtaz Awan, PML-N’s MNA Pervez Malik, and civil society representative Abdullah Malik participated. They spoke on the issue and condemned Israel for its bombardment on innocent and unarmed Palestinians in the last four days.
At the end of the conference, a declaration was issued, which demanded that the government raise its voice in diplomatic enclosures and other international platforms, especially the OIC. The declaration also demanded the government announce one-day mourning against the killing of around 150 Palestinians, and on the occasion the national flag should remain down in protest. It also called for an OIC meeting. The declaration demanded the UN and OIC force Israel to stop killing of Palestinians immediately. 
It termed the Israeli bombardment on unarmed Palestinians as a violation of human rights and a step against humanity, and notes that all religions across the world are protesting against it. The declaration announced that the Muslim community and all religious parties in Pakistan would observed “Youmul Quds” next Friday, and special prayers would be offered after the Friday prayer in solidarity with the Muslim brothers of Palestine. Meanwhile, Christians will offer specially prayers for the peace, in the churches.
The declaration also demanded constitution of a commission on war crimes against Israel, noting that the Jewish state has committed serious war crimes against the Palestinians. It also called for imposition of some restrictions on Israel by the international community. Addressing the conference, PML-N’s representative Pervez Malik assured the participants that his government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, would highlight this issue at the OIC and UN.
Palestinian Ambassador in Pakistan Ahmad Abu Ali also spoke during the conference through telephonic link and said that the whole world was expressing solidarity with the people of Palestine, and some protests were held even in Tel Aviv (Israel) and the US too, but Muslim countries have been silent. He said the Muslim countries were not moved by the unilateral killing of Palestinians by Israel and were instead focused on football matches. He termed this a very unfortunate thing for the Ummah.

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