Palestine’s ambassador to Pakistan took part in a Jerusalem-related rally along with 26/11 terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed on Friday. Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has put out a statement strongly condemning his participation. Barghouti’s statement is reproduced in full below.
The Palestinian struggle for liberation and self-determination is based on our people’s rights under international law. Anchored in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the nonviolent BDS movement for Palestinian rights stands categorically against all forms of racism and discrimination in our struggle to isolate Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid to achieve freedom, justice and equality for the indigenous people of Palestine.
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian society, condemns, on principle, the fanatic ideology and criminal acts attributed to Hafiz Saeed. We also condemn sharing of a stage with him by any Palestinian official, an act that contradicts our people’s principled commitment to universal human rights and democracy and undermines the decades-long friendship between the Indian people and the people of Palestine.
We welcome the recall of ambassador Walid Abu Ali and demand that he be held accountable for his actions. It is imperative to not let the right-wing, pro-Israel, pro-militarisation lobby in India exploit what happened in Rawalpindi as remotely representative of the Palestinian people and our values.
Palestinians deeply value the true voices of solidarity with our struggle for self-determination in Pakistan and India alike, and this solidarity can only be based on a common commitment to freedom, justice and equality as well as respect for international law. Exclusionary, racist, casteist, fundamentalist or otherwise discriminatory ideologies and movements are the antithesis of our struggle’s inclusive principles.
It is urgent for progressive forces to speak out – and where possible act – with moral consistency against all injustice, all racisms and all human rights violations. Palestinians connect deeply with Indians in their struggle for democracy, for social and economic justice, for equal rights for Dalits and all minorities and marginalised groups.