Hundreds of students recently gathered at a university in Lahore, Pakistan to show solidarity with the people of Palestine.
The diaspora of Palestinian students from Gaza who are studying at various universities in the city organized the event.
According to the United Nations General Assembly, in 1977, UN members called for the annual observance on Nov. 29 of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Since then, the day is widely observed around the world, which encourages UN member states to continue their support for the Palestinian people.
The students appraised Pakistan’s strong stance toward “Israel” and always standing with the people of Gaza.
“We know there is huge pressure on Pakistan to recognize “Israel”, but we know that Pakistan will never do this. Due to Pakistan's strong stance, we have a special love for its people,” said Palestinian Ali Hassan, a computer science major at the University of Lahore.
Hassan’s father, who is a doctor, sent him to Pakistan to complete his studies.
“My father got to know about Pakistan’s education system through a neighbor, and I am here on a scholarship. My features are very similar to the Pathans (residents of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province). Many times, people address me as ‘LaLa’ (elder brother),” said Hassan.
Mentioning the struggles of the founder of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, known as "Quaid e Azam," or “Great Leader,’ Ibrahim Abu Hassan, a civil engineering major, said: “Quaid e Azam is my idol. He made a nation from scratch. We need that kind of fresh leadership which can tell people the idea of freedom.”
Most of the students want to go back and serve their nation. Abu Hassan’s father and uncle also came to Pakistan 20 years ago and completed their studies in the city of Peshawar. Now they are back in Palestine working with their people.
“I am waiting for my degree to be completed so I can go back home and serve my own nation. My people need me. The love we have always gotten from Pakistani people is indispensable,” said Abu Hassan.
Pakistan on many occasions has been very blunt about its stance on Israel.
In January, in an interview with a Turkish channel, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan cannot recognize Israel for what it has done to Palestine.
While presenting the case in more clarity, he said the situation in Kashmir and Palestine is absolutely similar. Khan said that recognizing Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land would be the same as recognizing India’s atrocities in Kashmir and Pakistan would lose moral standing.
In May, thousands of Pakistanis took to the streets and protested Israel’s aggression toward the people of Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
There are more than 200 Palestinian students in Pakistan studying at various universities and colleges. They also have a Palestinian student union that connects them all.
“I am from the West Bank, and I know two more people from my village here. We will also have a friendly football tournament in the coming days between different cities. We planned it earlier, but due to the (coronavirus) pandemic, we could not execute that,” said Abu Hassan./YS