‘Palestine can’t share stage with Hafiz Saeed’, recalls its Pak envoy after Delhi objects

‘Palestine can’t share stage with Hafiz Saeed’, recalls its Pak envoy after Delhi objects
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Srinagar: The State of Palestine has recalled its envoy to Pakistan after India objected to his appearance in a public meeting on Al Quds (Jerusalem) along with Jama’at-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed on Friday.

A statement by the Palestinian foreign ministry said: “The minister of foreign affairs and expatriates under the direct instructions of the president of the state of Palestine has decided to recall the Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan immediately.”

It said that the envoy’s participation “in a mass rally in solidarity with Jerusalem… in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified”.

The DawnNews reported that Ambassador Walid Abu Ali had on Friday attended the gathering in Rawal­pindi’s Liaquat Bagh under the banner of Difa-i-Pakistan Council (DPC), a grouping of dozens of Islamist parties, in support of the Palestinian cause.

JuD, which is the leading party in the alliance, had hosted the ‘Tahaffuz-i-Baitul Muqddas’ rally.

Besides speaking on Al Quds, leaders at the rally had lashed out at India on the issue of Kashmir.

“We consider it our prime responsibility to liberate Kashmir from India. We will free Kashmir in fulfillment of (Mohammad Ali) Jinnah’s dream,” Hafiz Saeed had said on that occasion.

The Palestinian envoy had been active after President Donald Trump decided to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel coordinating with political and religious parties’ reaction in Pakistan over the American move.

A few weeks back, he had visited Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa, who had told him that Pakistan viewed Kashmir and Palestinian disputes similarly and both issues had “public, moral and political” support of the people of the country.

Palestinian envoy’s pictures with Hafiz Saeed, which were carried by the media, were noticed in New Delhi.

The government of India summoned the Palestinian ambassador in New Delhi to the ministry of external affairs to receive the demarche over Ali’s participation in the rally.

“Government of India has strongly conveyed to the Palestinian side that the Palestinian ambassador’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 concerns were conveyed both in New Delhi to the Palestinian ambassador and in Ramallah to the minister of foreign affairs and expatriates, state of Palestine,” the Indian ministry said in a statement.

As per the GoI statement, the Palestinian envoy assured that Palestinian Authority stood with India “in the war against terrorism, and will not engage with those who commit acts of terror against India”.

More importantly, the Indian government was shortly communicated that Abu Ali was being recalled, the news report added.