Palestine recalls ambassador to Pakistan who attended rally alongside Hafiz Saeed
January 22 2018, 01:54 | Irvin Gilbert
Palestine Conveyed Deep Regrets Over Meeting Of Its Ambassador To Pakistan With Hafiz Saeed: MEA
Palestinian Ambassador to India, Adnan Abu Al Haija was quoted by The Hindu as saying that what the ambassador did was 'not acceptable to my government.' Haija also said that Palestine has supported India's fight against terror.
India formally conveyed its concerns about Walid Abu Ali's "association with terrorist Hafiz Saeed, who is proscribed by the United Nations", to the Palestinian ambassador in New Delhi and to the minister of foreign affairs in Ramallah.
Buckling under pressure from India, Palestinian National Authority yesterday recalled its envoy to Pakistan for publically showing solidarity with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and other jihadi terrorist leaders in 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 external affairs ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
India was told Palestine would not "engage with those who commit acts of terror against India".
The decision to recall Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, came soon after. "But still, we can not find this acceptable... and the Palestinian government has made a decision to take action", he said.
India and the Palestinian Authority are also discussing a possible visit to Ramallah by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February - seen by some here as a conciliatory gesture in connection with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to India in January.
The widely circulated picture of Abu Ali sharing a stage with Saeed in Rawalpindi, which also houses the headquarters of the Lashkar boss's mentor the Pakistan Army, led to strong outrage in official circles, coming as it does close on the heels of India going against the USA in a vote in the United Nations on the American decision to support Israel's move to declare Jerusalem its capital. The countries disregarded Trump's threat to cut aid to the countries that voted for the resolution.
Saeed, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba armed group, has always been accused by the United States and India of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which saw gunmen kill 166 people as they stormed hotels and other targets in the Indian financial hub. He had gone to Rawalpindi to attend the event which was organised to further the voices of Palestine's people. "In fact, when Saeed spoke, he asked people around him who he was.He did not know the terrorist personally".
Palestine wants to maintain a healthy relationship with India. He will no longer be Palestine ambassador to Pakistan.
"We appreciate the prompt action by President Mahmoud Abbas, the Government of Palestine, to recall (Ali) for having attended a meeting convened by LeT Chief Hafeez Saeed, an internationally reviled and known hardcore terrorist", said IPSF.