December 3, 2010 2:28:41 am
With cries of Viva Gaza and Palestine Zindabad renting the air,the first ever Asian Land Caravan to the Gaza strip,organised by the Asian Peoples Solidarity for Palestine (APSP),was flagged off from Rajghat on Thursday morning. The ceremony was attended by people from diverse backgrounds politicians,social activists and diplomats,besides the participants.
The convoy is slated to travel to Pakistan via the Wagah border and then on to Turkey,Syria,Lebanon,Jordan and Egypt,entering Gaza through the Rafah Crossing around December 28. The caravan will be joined by more people as it passes through the various countries. Eventually,we will be a more than 200-strong contingent,in addition to the 50-odd activists from India. We firmly believe that the occupation is against international law and we will show the people of Palestine that the people of India are with them in their struggle, said Zafarul Islam Khan,editor of the Milli Gazette. The event was attended by senior Congress leaders Mani Shankar Aiyer and Digvijay Singh. Praising the initiative,Mani Shankar Aiyer said,I congratulate the organisers for taking Mahatma Gandhis message of non-violence from Rajghat to Gaza.
Echoing Aiyers sentiments,Singh said,Wherever there has been division on religion,there has been violence and hatred. Asked about the governments opinion on the Palestinian conflict,Singh said,There is no change in our policies. Our support for the cause of Palestine is non-negotiable.
We the youth are the future of the world. Which is why I want to see the state of students in Palestine with my own eyes. I will collect information,videos and photos to show them to people here when I come back home, said Rahul Gharat,a 19-year-old from Thane in Maharashtra. I know about the earlier Israeli attack on a group like ours,but it doesnt matter. Its a cause good enough to die for, Gharat said.
Thanking the organisers and participants,Charge De Affairs of the Palestinian Embassy in India Zuhar Dar Zaid said: It gives us the strength to fight on,be more united. It will be a long fight for our freedom,but we will prevail. Especially now,when I truly feel that our Indian brothers are behind us.
The reporter is a student of the Express Institute of Media Studies
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