Pakistanis hold massive rally against ties with Israel
Tens of thousands of Pakistanis have held an anti-Israel march in the country’s major city of Karachi, rejecting the possibility of normalizing ties with the occupying Israeli regime.
The "million-man march" organized by opposition Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) was held with participants donning the colors of the JUI-F and raising tall black and white striped flags.
“Israel is involved in the genocide of Muslims in Palestine and we would never allow the federal government to establish diplomatic relations with it,” JUI-F leader Maulana Saleemullah Alwazi told Pakistani daily The News International.
In recent months, the news of deals signed by a few Arab dictatorships to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel under intense US pressure has sparked widespread anger among Pakistani people, who hold strong feelings for the Palestinian cause.
In December, top Pakistani officials fiercely denied rumors publicized by Israeli news outlets that Islamabad was moving towards a similar deal.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan rejected as "baseless" reports of his government officials visiting Israeli Occupied Lands, insisting why would any of his ministers visit Tel Aviv when Islamabad does not even recognize Israel.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said later in December that he had informed the UAE -- one of the US-backed kingdoms that recently normalized ties with Israel -- of Islamabad's “steadfast” policy towards Tel Aviv, insisting that the country will refuse to recognize it until the issue of Palestine is resolved.
The top Pakistani diplomat said he had explained to his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan the “depth of emotions and feelings Pakistanis have about Palestine and Kashmir.”
The normalization trend has drawn widespread condemnation from Palestinians, who seek an independent state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East al-Quds as its capital. They say the deals are "a stab in the back" of the Palestinians.