India issues demarche after Palestine envoy shares stage with terrorist Hafiz Saeed
03:16, Jan 2, 2018
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"But still, we can not find this acceptable... and the Palestinian government has chose to take action", he said.
Saeed, who was last month set free from a 300-day-long house arrest, has been repeatedly accused by the USA and India of masterminding the 2008 attacks on the Indian financial capital Mumbai that killed 166 people.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has recalled its ambassador to Pakistan after he attended a rally in support of Palestine's position on Jerusalem hosted by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who carries a $10m United States bounty on his head for allegedly masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Saeed used the rally to call for an "Islamic summit" to defend Jerusalem from Israel.
JuD is considered by the U.S. and India to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the militant group blamed for the attacks.
The PA's decision appears to have come after India protested the ambassador's presence at the rally, terming it "unacceptable".
". the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates considered the participation of our ambassador in Pakistan in a mass rally in solidarity with Jerusalem, held [.] in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified", said the Palestinian foreign ministry's statement, without naming Saeed. 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, it further said.
"Accordingly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates under the direct instructions of the President of the State of Palestine to recall the Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan immediately".
It said that concerns were conveyed in both New Delhi to the Palestinian Ambassador and in Ramallah to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, State of Palestine. More than 50 speakers addressed the rally, including Hafiz Saeed. "Our Ambassador doesn't know this person.When he starts speaking, he asks who is this person?Our Ambassador's speech was after him, he made his speech & left".
But the photograph of Walid Abu Ali exchanging words with Hafiz Saeed in all seriousness at the stage contradicts Alhaijaa's claim.
The rally in Rawalpindi, attended by thousands, was organized by the Defense of Pakistan Council, an alliance of religious parties dominated by Saeed's group.
Pakistan has refused extradition requests from the USA for Saeed and allows him to operate relatively freely.
The Wikipedia page of the Difa-e-Pakistan shows that it has several chiefs of banned organisations as members.
In 2002, Pakistan banned Lashkar-e-Taiba as a "terrorist" organisation, and since 2008, authorities say they have been abiding by United Nations sanctions.
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