PA recalls envoy to Pakistan after India objects to appearance with terrorist

Palestinian ambassador to Islamabad stood alongside Hafiz Saeed at extremist rally.

By REZAUL H LASKAR/HINDUSTAN TIMES
December 31, 2017 03:35
3 minute read.
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (C), chief of the Islamic charity organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), speaks to

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (C), chief of the Islamic charity organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), speaks to supporters during a gathering to protest against Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan December. (photo credit: REUTERS/FAISAL MAHMOOD)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

NEW DELHI (Tribune News Service) -- 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.

India issued a strongly worded demarche after photos of Walid Abu Ali sharing the stage with Saeed and addressing the rally organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) were circulated on social media on Friday.


Barely hours after the Indian statement, a Palestinian official told Hindustan Times: “The ambassador has been recalled from Pakistan and asked to report to Ramallah. Palestine is part of the world community and it is committed to fighting terrorism. This shouldn’t have happened.”

The Palestinian ambassador to India, Adnan Abu Al Haij, was quoted as saying that his government supported India “in its fight against terrorism” and had decided to call back its Pakistan envoy.

A statement in Arabic issued by the Palestinian foreign ministry said the envoy in Pakistan was recalled on the “direct instructions” of President Mahmoud Abbas. The envoy’s participation in the rally “in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified”, it said.

A statement issued by India’s external affairs ministry said the Palestinian side “conveyed deep regrets over the incident and assured the government of India that they are taking serious cognisance of their ambassador’s presence” at the rally. It said that the Palestinian side had conveyed that it “highly values its relationship with India and stands with us in the war against terrorism, and will not engage with those who commit acts of terror against India”.

The envoy’s presence at the rally came barely 10 days after India joined 127 other members of the United Nations to back a resolution criticising US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The countries disregarded Trump’s threat to cut aid to the countries that voted for the resolution.

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. If Modi’s visit goes ahead, it will be his first to the Palestinian Authority.


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.

Saeed used Friday’s “Tahafuz Baitul Maqdas” rally to launch a broadside against India and to rake up the Kashmir issue by linking it to Palestine. “We consider it our prime responsibility to liberate Kashmir from India. We will free Kashmir in fulfilment of Jinnah’s dream,” he said, speaking in Urdu.

Saeed also referred to the controversial meeting between Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national sentenced to death by Pakistan for alleged spying, and his wife and mother in Islamabad on December 25.

“Pakistan let the family of Kulbhushan meet him out of kindness and goodwill, but India sent them with spy devices,” he claimed.

The rally featured several jihadi leaders, including Saifullah Khalid of the Milli Muslim League, a political party formed by Saeed, and Abdul Rehman Makki of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) The event was attended by thousands, including members of the JuD.

The DPC is a grouping of some 40 extremist and jihadi groups that was formed by Hafiz Saeed and other extremists in 2012. It has campaigned for long for snapping ties with India and the US.

©2017 the Hindustan Times (New Delhi)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Syrian air defence batteries responding to what the Syrian state media said were Israeli missiles
January 23, 2019
Russia calls on Israel to 'rule out practice' of striking Syria

By AVRAHAM GOLD