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Updated December 29th, 2023 at 17:20 IST

No New Year celebrations in Pakistan after authorities ban festivities; here's why

The Caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan Anwaarul Haq Kakar announced on Thursday, a complete ban on New Year celebrations in the country.

Kakar
Caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan Anwarul Haq Kakar | Image:AP
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Karachi: The Caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan Anwaarul Haq Kakar announced on Thursday, a complete ban on New Year celebrations in the country. While the country has witnessed its own share of political and economic turmoil, Kakar noted that the decision was taken to express Islamabad's solidarity with the people of Palestine who are currently embroiled in the Israel-Hamas war. Ever since the commencement of the war, Pakistan has been an ardent critic of Israel's operation in Gaza. 

In a televised address on Thursday, Kakar urged the nation to show solidarity with the conflict-stricken region in the Middle East. “Since October 7, 2023, more than 21,000 innocent Palestinians have been martyred by the brutal Israeli forces, including a large number of innocent children — around 9,000,” the prime minister said, urging Israel to stop the bloodshed. In his televised statement, Kakar expressed hopes that the New Year dawn with the message of peace, prosperity and harmony for Pakistan and the rest of the world.

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Pakistan follows Sharjah's lead

Kakar's announcement came days after Sharjah banned its world-famous New Year’s Eve fireworks for the same reasons. The decision was announced in a Facebook post by Sharjah police. In the message, the police warned that legal measures would be taken against those who are found guilty of violating the ban. "The ban is a sincere expression of solidarity and humanitarian cooperation with our siblings in the Gaza Strip,” Sharjah police said in the post.

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Sharjah along with other cities in the UAE is known for ringing in the New Year with fireworks that usually last several minutes. The Al Majaz Waterfront, one of Sharjah’s premier leisure destinations for tourists and families is famously known for conducting beautiful fireworks worldwide. However, following this announcement, multiple festivals and events have been postponed in the Emirates with the same motive. The Tanweer Sacred Music Festival, which was to be held in Sharjah’s Mleiha, has been postponed indefinitely. The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) also withdrew from the Frankfurt International Book Fair following events surrounding the cancellation of an award to a Palestinian author.

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Published December 29th, 2023 at 08:27 IST

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