Pakistanis call govt support for Palestine lip service, bank circular on Gaza donation blamed

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New Delhi: Some Pakistanis online called their government’s support to Palestine and its people merely “window dressing” after a private bank’s internal circular reportedly directed its branches to refuse any donations to the accounts of the embassy of Palestine in Islamabad.

One of Pakistan’s largest private retail banks, Bank Alfalah, is facing flak on the sensitive issue.

Despite the government’s support for Palestine, users on X pointed out that circulars such as the one shared by Bank Alfalah are proof that Islamabad’s support for Palestine and the civilians trapped in Gaza is not real.

“The Pakistani state’s entire “support” for Palestine is restricted to that one line on the passport. In every other aspect, they are complicit in the genocide of Palestinians,” a user on X said. Another user said that Pakistan is actively contributing “in the Palestinian genocide”.

Waqas Ahmed, a Pakistani journalist posted on X, sharing a copy of the internal notification shared to all Bank Alfalah bank branches to not accept any donations to the specific accounts of the “embassy of the State of Palestine”.

“Meanwhile, Pakistani govt has asked all banks to stop accepting donations for Palestine. Here is one circular from Bank Alfalah. Earlier Pakistani govt cracked down on pro-Palestine protestors and the PCB asked one cricketer to delete a tweet dedicating a recent victory to Gaza,” Ahmed said on X.

The post has been reposted over 2,700 times, with 355 quote tweets and 3,700 likes on X has set off a conversation among Pakistani social media circles, with a large number of verified users calling out the bank’s actions.

Thousands of Pakistanis have hit the streets in support of Palestine across cities, while many celebrities and influencers have been vocal across social media platforms in support of the Palestinians trapped in Gaza.

Pakistani support for Palestine has been seen even in the realm of sports, when cricketer Muhammad Rizwan dedicated a century in the ongoing cricket World Cup to the “brothers and sisters in Gaza” on 11 October.

Author Harris Irfan posted that “client states around the world are cracking down on donations for people who are being starved and bombed,” a common refrain seen in few other posts highlighting that this action could be a result of Pakistan being “owned” by international financial institutions and the US. These posts usually also come with a line or two in support of Imran Khan, the jailed former Prime Minister of Pakistan.

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