PESHAWAR/LAHORE - Religious parties held countrywide rallies on Sunday to express solidarity with the people of Palestine.

To condemn Israeli aggression on Gaza, hundreds of activists of Jamaat-u-Dawa (JuD) took out a rally and expressed solidarity with the innocent people of Palestine here on Sunday.

The rally was staged in front of Peshawar Press Club and was led by provincial leaders of JuD Sheikh Yaqoob and Maulana Ismael Darwesh. Addressing on the occasion they said that Israeli forces have killed thousands of innocent Palestinians but human rights organisations and United Nations have not uttered any word of sympathy with the people of Palestine. They said that Pakistani rulers are fighting against one another for the sake of power and have left the innocent Palestinians on the mercy of the United States and Israel.

They said that Israel bombed the innocent citizen of Palestine on the instigation of the United States and its western allies but no single Muslim country dared intervene the matter and unite the Muslims to fight against Israel aggression.

They urged upon the Muslims rulers to get united against Israel and boycott all of its products, besides expelling Israel ambassadors from their countries. They also asked the government to send financial aid for the people of Palestine.

Meanwhile, hundreds of activists of Aman Jirga Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday staged a protest rally against the Israeli aggression in Palestine and in favour of Palestinian Muslims. The rally turned into a protest demonstration at Pakistan Chowk and the protesters chanted slogans against Israel and in favour of Palestinian Muslims.

The protesters were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the Israel and in favour of Palestinian Muslims. The rally was led by Aman Jirga leaders Syed Kamal Shah, Arshad Manan, Ashrafud Din, Humayun Khalji, Malik Khan and others.

In Lahore, Jamaat-u-Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed called upon PTI Chairman Imran Khan and PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri to include “peace in Palestine” in their charter of demands and press the government to take practical steps to stop the ‘genocide’ of Palestinian Muslims by Israel.

He was addressing a Palestine Unity Caravan. Besides holding protests in major cities including Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad and Multan, JuD also took out a rally in the provincial capital–Palestine Unity Caravan–against the Israeli aggression.

Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan Waleed Abu Ali, JI Secretary General Liaquat Baloch, Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) President Shafqat Mehmood Chohan, Allama Ahmad Ali Kasuri, and a large number of other religious parties’ leaders also addressed the Palestine Unity Caravan.

Hundreds of students, lawyers, traders, motorcyclists and representatives of civil society participated in the protest rally and chanted slogans against Israel and US.

Speaking on the occasion, Hafiz Saeed said that he had written a letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to request him to summon a Muslim Leaders’ Conference, but he restrained only to protests to express solidarity with oppressed Palestinian Muslims.

He said Muslim countries in the world were facing political crisis and national disintegration and it was all because of their silence on brutal killing of innocent Muslims in Palestine and Kashmir.

The Jamaat-u-Dawa chief said Israel was an illegal terrorist State and all Muslim countries should unite against it and ensure that it must vanish from the world’s map. “Pakistan is made in the name of Islam, and its atomic bomb also belongs to Islam and must be used as deterrent to save Muslims,’ he added.

He also said that Muslim countries should make their own union on the pattern of European Union and Muslim financial institutions to protect their interests.

He said Jamaat-u-Dawa would continue its countrywide movement against the Israeli aggression till the complete peace in Palestine.

In his telephonic address, Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan Waleed Abu Ali appreciated the efforts of JuD chief for highlighting the Palestine issue not only in Pakistan but all over the world.

He said that Israel was brutally killing innocent Muslims of Palestine, but unfortunately Muslim world was sitting silent.

He also criticised the ‘criminal silence’ of United Nations and European Union against the genocide of Palestinians. He said United Nations officials were just making drama on media and practically doing nothing to stop Muslim killings in Gaza.

JI Lahore chapter organised a Gaza March at The Mall and held a public meeting in front of Masjid-e-Shahada.

Addressing the participants of the public meeting, the speakers urged the Muslim rulers to announce Jehad against Israel.

JI General Secretary Liaquat Baloch, Dr Fareed Piracha, Dr Waseem Akhtar, Abdul Ghafar Aziz, Mian Maqsood Ahmed and others were present.

Beside JI, leaders of other religious and political parties including JUI-F’s Maulana Amjad Khan, Majid Zahoor of PML-N Allama Zubair Ahmed Zaheer of Jamiat Ahle Hadees and others also present on the occasion.

Addressing the participants, Liaquat Baloch said that Palestinian people were fighting the war for freeing the Qibla-e-Awwal.

He said US, Europe, so-called human rights and international organisations were bias towards Muslims. He said Palestine and Kashmir were facing brutalities since long but non of international institutions including UN were raising voice against the human rights violations in these countries.

He said Arab countries could use the weapon of oil to press the world for solution of the issue.  He said Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia could pull the Muslim Ummah out of crisis if they get united.

He said Pakistan was facing a lot of problems. He called upon all political forces to search the solution of current political crises within the limits of Constitution. He said they would be successful to end the political crisis soon.

He said the masses would not accept Martial Law.  On the occasion, Hamas leader Khalid Mashal addressed the participants of the public meetings of Palestine Day countrywide by telephone.