December 29, 2023
ISLAMABAD – Caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar on Thursday announced a complete ban on New Year celebrations in an expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas in retaliation for its October 7 attack, which left about 1,140 people dead, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.
In response, Israel’s relentless aerial bombardment and ground invasion with troops and tanks have killed at least 21,320 people, mostly women and children, and wounded another 55,603 people, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
In an address to the nation today, PM Kakar said: “Keeping in mind the seriously concerning 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 kind of event for New Year.”
He requested the nation to show solidarity with the Palestinians and exhibit sobriety and humility at the New Year.
The prime minister said 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 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.”
Kakar said Pakistan had vocalised the plight of the Palestinian people on every global forum available and would continue to do so in the future as well to stop the Israeli bloodshed.
He said Pakistan had dispatched two aid packages to Palestine while a third package was being prepared.
The premier added Pakistan was engaged in talks with Jordan and Egypt to provide timely aid to Palestine and to evacuate the injured present in Gaza.
Sharjah also banned New Year’s Eve fireworks a day ago as an expression of solidarity with Gazans.
The decision was announced in a Facebook post by Sharjah police, warning on Tuesday that legal measures would be taken against those found violating the ban.
The ban is “a sincere expression of solidarity and humanitarian cooperation with our siblings in the Gaza Strip,” Sharjah police had said in the post.
Sharjah is the United Arab Emirate’s third-largest emirate by size and population behind Abu Dhabi and Dubai. There are seven emirates.
Sharjah’s decision on New Year’s Eve fireworks appeared to be limited to that one emirate as public celebrations continued to be advertised in the country’s other emirates.
Earlier today, the military’s top brass also expressed full solidarity with Palestinians and condemned the “serious human rights violations and war crimes” being perpetrated in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military.
The military moot reiterated the government’s stance of demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and a peaceful resolution to the ongoing crisis.