Health professionals demand: Gaza ceasefire, medical aid

M. Waqar Bhatti
Monday, Dec 11, 2023

Hundreds of healthcare professionals, paramedics, nurses and pharmacists on Sunday called for an immediate ceasefire and end to genocide of Palestinian people, including women and children, and demanded that the United Nations and the international community allow doctors, surgeons and paramedics to enter the occupied Palestinian territory, along with food, water and medical aid.

Led by Sindh caretaker health minister Dr Saad Khalid Niaz and representatives of different medical associations, including the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (Pima), the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and the Young Doctors Association, marched on Stadium Road and demanded an immediate end to hostilities against the people of besieged Gaza.

It was perhaps the largest protest by Pakistan’s healthcare professionals in the history of the country held under the aegis of the Karachi Health Forum.

Gathered in front of two major private health facilities in Karachi, and carrying banners and placards inscribed with demands for a ceasefire and an end to the occupation of Palestinian lands, they urged the international community to intervene and save precious lives in the held Palestinian territories, especially Gaza.

Several resolutions were unanimously adopted on the occasion by the protesters, who demanded an immediate end to human rights violations and the bombing of civilian areas, especially healthcare institutions. These resolutions also asked Muslim countries’ rulers to exert their political, economic and military powers to stop the Zionist aggression.

They demanded that doctors and paramedics be allowed to give medical help to the injured and sick in Palestine. Pakistan’s government and establishment should explain why they are not helping Palestinians and not facilitating those who want to help, asked the protesters.

They pointed out that the Western powers do not need to preach ethics and morality ever again because they have exposed what their reality is.

The protesters declared that the land of Palestine belongs to Palestinians, and that Israelis are illegal occupants, saying that there is no two-state solution because the entire land of Palestine belongs to the people of Palestine.

They said that jihad to liberate Al-Aqsa and to help the suffering Palestinians has been declared obligatory by Ulema. Every Muslim needs to exercise it within their capacity, while the states should take it up by their means and not just pay lip service, they added.

Dr Niaz highlighted the sufferings of Palestinian people, saying that the worst genocide is being committed by barbaric Zionists in front of cameras and on TV screens but nobody in the so-called civilised world is ready to prevent the killings of innocent women, children, healthcare professionals, journalists and ordinary people.

“It is our obligation and everybody in the world to speak against this injustice, this genocide being committed by barbaric Israelis, and condemn it in the strongest terms. We need every resource at our disposal to end these hostilities which are being condemned by even the Jewish people around the globe.”

Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman censured Muslim countries’ rulers for their “criminal connivance” in the cleansing of the people of Gaza, warning them that soon people of their own countries would throw them out and there would be nobody to help them, including their “master”, the US.

Urging Pakistanis to boycott Israeli and Western products, Rehman said people should also boycott US and Western “political products”, adding that not a single word has been uttered by the so-called mainstream parties in favour of the people of Palestine because they are busy in their struggle to rule the country.

PMA General Secretary Dr Abdul Ghafoor Shoro, the Pakistan Paediatric Association’s Prof Dr Jamal Raza and Prof Khalid Shafi, and Pima’s Dr Saqib Ansari, Prof Sohail Akhtar and Dr Aziza Anjum also spoke on the occasion.

They demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the provision of food and medical aid to the people of Palestine and liberation of all Palestinian territories.