Palestine conveys 'deep regret', recalls envoy who shared stage with Hafiz Saeed

Palestine conveys 'deep regret', recalls envoy who shared stage with Hafiz Saeed

NEW DELHI: Palestine has decided to recall its ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, for sharing a stage with Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan, Palestinian envoy to India Adnan Abu Al Haija said on Saturday.

government has told Ali that he was not anymore its envoy to Pakistan,” Haija told PTI.

Palestine has decided to recall its Ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, for sharing stage with Hafiz Saeed, conf…

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The top envoy said that Ali has been given couple of days to pack and return from Islamabad.

“We are supporting India in its fight against terrorism and because of that my government decided to directly call our Ambassador to go back home, not to be Palestine ambassador to Pakistan anymore,” Haija told ANI.

Earlier in the day, Palestine expressed regret after India strongly condemned the Palestinian envoy’s presence at a rally organised by Saeed in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi on Friday.

“The Palestinian side has conveyed deep regrets over the incident and assured the Government of India that they are taking serious cognizance of their Ambassador’s presence at this event,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

In a strongly worded demarche to the Palestinian government, India reminded them that Saeed is a UN-designated terrorist and the ambassador’s association with the JuD chief is “unacceptable”.

“Government of India has strongly conveyed to the Palestinian side that the Palestinian Ambassador in Pakistan’s association with terrorist Hafiz Saeed, who is proscribed by the United Nations, at an event in Rawalpindi on 29.12.2017, is unacceptable,” the statement read.

Palestine further assured that in view of its bilateral ties with New Delhi, it will not engage with terrorists who seek to destabilize India.

“They have said they will deal with this matter appropriately. It was also conveyed that Palestine highly values its relationship with India and stands with us in war against terrorism and will not engage with those who commit acts of terror against India,” said the MEA.

According to reports, Palestinian ambassador in Islamabad Walid Abu Ali attended a large rally organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Friday morning.

Difa-e-Pakistan (Defence of Pakistan) Council (DPC) is an alliance of Islamist groups in Pakistan, including Saeed’s outfit.

The presence of the Palestinian envoy at a JuD rally was a slap in the face for India, coming days after it voted for a UNGA resolution against the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

This isn’t the first time the Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan has met with Hafiz Saeed. In August 2014, Waleed Abu Ali had attended the Palestine Unity Caravan organised by the JuD, where Saeed delivered an address denigrating India and Israel for “killing innocent Muslims”.

Accused of orchestrating the November 2008 Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 people, Saeed was placed on the terrorism black list by the United Nations Security Council. The US too has designated him as a global terrorist and has announced a reward of $10 million for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

(With PTI inputs)

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