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The Gaza War: Pak PM announces a ‘strict ban’ on New Year celebrations

The Gaza War: Pak PM announces a ‘strict ban’ on New Year celebrations

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Virendra Pandit

 

New Delhi: Himself a Baloch, he was not moved when the notorious Pakistani Army and the Islamabad police brutally crushed a Baloch women’s 1,200-km-long march amid biting cold early this month. Thousands of these women, and their supporters, were treated like animals before stuffing them into prisons.

But Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, who thundered against India in his first trip to the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), is suitably moved also by what is happening to fellow Muslim Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

On Thursday, he announced a “strict ban” on the New Year celebration in his cash-strapped country to express solidarity with the people in Gaza.

In a brief address to the nation, Kakar urged the Pakistanis to show solidarity with the Palestinians and exhibit sobriety and humility at the New Year festivities. “Keeping in mind the serious situation in Palestine and to show solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters, there will be a strict ban by the government on holding any event for New Year,” he said.

Kakar said that over 21,000 Palestinians were killed so far by the Israeli forces that crossed all limits of violence and injustice with around 9,000 children dead since the Israeli bombardment of Gaza began on October 7.

“The whole Pakistani nation and the Muslim world are in a sheer state of anguish over the massacre of innocent children and genocide of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.”

He said Pakistan had dispatched two aid packages to Palestine while a third package was being prepared. Islamabad was engaged in talks with Jordan and Egypt to provide timely aid to Palestine and to evacuate the injured people from Gaza.

Kakar said Pakistan tried to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people on various global forums and would continue to do so in the future as well to stop the Israeli bloodshed.

Pakistan’s New Year celebrations are traditionally not huge due to the influence of Islamic groups who try to stop the festivities through various methods, including the use of force.

Kakar succeeded Muhammed Shehbaz Sharif in the top office in August 2023, ahead of the February 2024 elections to the National Assembly.

Shehbaz’s elder brother, three-time PM Nawaz Sharif, is being viewed as the front-runner to become the next PM with the support of the all-powerful Army which has stuffed his chief rival Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi and his numerous party leaders into prisons since August.

 

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