Save Gaza Campaign finishes Islamabad sit-in after negotiations with interior minister

JI tried to hijack Save Gaza Campaign but couldn’t succeed

ISLAMABAD  -   Save Gaza Campaign which started in November 2023 finished 42 days long sit-in on Sunday at D-Chowk Islamabad after negotiations with Interior Minsiter Mohsin Naqvi on Saturday. 

A joint video was released on on Saturday night where Interior Minsiter Moshin Naqvi assured to meet 6 demands put by organizers of Save Gaza Campaign. The demands include Prime Minister Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif to respond to the letters written by Hammas Chief Ismail Hania and give them assurity of Pakistan’s support on their resistance. Government of Pakistan must also assure the relief fleet to enter in Rafa and Save Gaza Campaign will assist the government. Government of Pakistan must also become party with South Africa in international court of justice. Martyred at an incident at sit-in must get justice and the families of martyrs must also get compensated by the government. Cases against Save Gaza Campaign and Jamiat Tulba Islam must be quashed and Government of Pakistan must also play it’s role for ceasefire in Palestine and push United Nations Security Council for ceasefire. 

According to sources, negotiations started by the efforts of DIG Operations Syed Ali Raza. Syed Ali Raza used to visit sit-in location and sit with Former Sentaor Mushtaq Ahmed for hours, separately. DIG Operations arranged the meeting of organizers of Save Gaza Campaign and Interior Minister Naqvi on Saturday.  

Humaira Tayyaba one of the founder of Save Gaza Campaign who’s also wife of Jamat e Islami’s former Sentaor Mushtaq Ahmed while talking to The Nation said, I started the campaign with my friends because there was no continuous and united effort in the country for Gaza cause. It’s a civil society movement which was joined by students, our campaign was demand based since state wasn’t doing enough for Gaza. 

Ms. Tayyaba further said that our campaign was joined by 30 to 35 independent organizations including Qaiser Raja, Haqooq Un Nas’s Waris Gill, Pharmacist Association, Young Doctors Association, Health workers association, Private School Association and many more. She added, campaign started from weekly protests outside National Press Club, Islamabad and then we came to D-Chowk where big figures like Former Sentaor Mushtaq, Senator Mushahid Hussain, Journalist Hamid Mir and Designer Maria B joined us. 

Ms. Tayyaba said we used to be 40 to 50 people at National Press Club but at D-Chowk we were joined by 150 to 200 people. She said we’re satisfied with amount of people who join us because Pakistan doesn’t have a culture of protests like Europe or USA. In Pakistan people only come out only with political parties and celebrities. Youth has gained a lot of confidence from our campaign and now they think that demands of organic movements can also be met. 

Ms. Tayyaba told The Nation that we’ve been given guarantee from the Interior Minister and DIG Islamabad Police Syed Ali Raza that our martyrs of campaign will get justice from the Military Courts. This sit-in was part of our campaign, campaign hasn’t finished yet, and we’ll only go forward from here to PM House, Parliament House, and US embassy if our demands are not met by the government. 

Couple of sources close to organizers of Save Gaza Campaign talked to The Nation on condition of anonymity said, Humaira Tayyaba is member (Rukan) of Jamat e Islami (JI), but she started the campaign independently after taking permission from the party. Nothing objective was been done by JI so we started this campaign and the response from JI was cold. According to the sources, JI even tried to stop the campaign but campaign gained momentum after ex-Sentaor Mushtaq Ahmed joined the campaign in his individual capacity from JI. 

After Mushtaq Ahmed joined the campaign people from JI started to join the protest in individual capacity because JI told them not to lobby other JI members to join the protest. When the sit-in started in May, Law enforcement agencies started giving hard time to the protestors but when two people were ran over by allegedly an army officer LEAs stepped back, according to the sources. 

JI tried to Hijack Save Gaza Campaign when a protest was done by them at Sernea Chowk and later when funeral prayers of martyrs at D-Chowk by capturing the stage, mic, and also politicizing the matter but they were given a shut up by Save Gaza Campaign because the campaign was non political and non religious, according to the sources. 

Save Gaza Campaign started Flash protests for the campaign which were for 15 to 30 minutes outside multinational organizations which were genuine protests without harassing anyone but Islami Jamiat Tulba, an offshoot of JI started the same but their duration was 3 to 4 hours or until the place was closed, the sources told, The Nation. Protest at F-9 park multinational fast food chain on June 14th was one of those protests by Islami Jamiat Tulba which ended up in physical altercation between protestors and Police and 10 of the protestors were arrested by police. 

When The Nation contacted Nasrullah Randhawa, Ammer JI, Islamabad about the developments at Save Gaza Campaign, he said, even though JI has nothing to do with Save Gaza Campaign but we’re supporting the cause. Whenever there will be activity about Gaza all the Muslims will support it. He said, Save Gaza Campaign is independent initiative of Ms. Huamira Tayyaba and friends, and they took permission from JI for that. 

He also denied about the incident at the funeral of two persons, he said, the incident happened at 3:15 am in the morning and I reached there around 4:00 am. I received the deadbody by myself, he added. 

When The Nation asked about protests of Islami Jamiat Tulba, he said, JI has nothing to do with them, we share the same ideology but they have their own manifesto and organization. He emphasized that we are separate organizations but our destination is the same. Organizers of Save Gaza Campaign were positive about the negotiations with the government. They said whatever was discussed during the meeting was made public by the government which shows there sincerity.

According to one of the member they were about to call a round table conference on coming Tuesday of all the political parties, religious parties of all sects, and human rights organizations but government has met the demands and hopefully they’ll be fulfilled.