Palestine recalls Pak envoy after India protests

by Garry Watts January 2, 2018, 3:15
Palestine recalls Pak envoy after India protests

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday recalled its ambassador to Pakistan after India expressed anger and concern over his presence next to Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed at a rally organised by extremist and radical groups in Rawalpindi.

Hours after the New Delhi government protested vociferously to Ramallah, Abu Ali was recalled from his post by the Palestinian Authority.

The clarification issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Palestine in Ramallah said that the "participation of our envoy in a mass solidarity rally with Jerusalem, held in Rawalpindi on Friday, and in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified".

In a statement, the MEA said the Palestinian side has conveyed "deep regrets" over the incident and assured India that they are taking serious cognisance of their ambassador's presence at this event.

In a statement, MEA said that India conveyed to Palestine that "such meetings of its ambassador with terrorists is not acceptable". "But still, we can not find this acceptable... and the Palestinian government has chose to take action", he said.

"They have said they will deal with this matter appropriately", a foreign ministry statement on Saturday said.

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Alhaijaa has been coordinating with the Indian government to schedule a possible visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Palestine. The Difa-e-Pakistan Council is an umbrella organisation for hardline anti-India anti-US Islamic groups in Pakistan.

"We have seen reports in this regard".

Just three weeks before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to travel on a state visit to India with the sole Jewish survivor of the horrific 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, India's Ambassador voted to support a United Nations General Assembly resolution rejecting U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "We take note of the assurances given by the Palestine side".

The India-Palestine Solidarity Front (IPSF) in New Delhi strongly condemned the Palestinian envoy's dais sharing with Saeed and later appreciated the prompt action by President Mahmoud Abbas to recall Ali. "He (Walid Abu Ali) did not know terrorist Hafiz Saeed". Palestine, however, has consistently voted against India on the J&K issue- both in the United Nations and in OIC- for years, while criticising India's growing relationship with Israel. A western diplomat based in Islamabad said, "This was a case of poor judgment by the Palestinian Ambassador".

Palestinians deeply value the true voices of solidarity with our struggle for self-determination in Pakistan and India alike, and this solidarity can only be based on a common commitment to freedom, justice and equality as well as respect for global law.

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