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Palestinian pain for India

Palestinian pain for India

Waleed Abu Ali had shared a stage with Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Rawalpindi on FridayNEW DELHI Palestine on Saturday recalled its envoy to Pakistan for sharing the stage with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, after India termed his action "unacceptable" and issued a demarche.

Earlier, Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday said that Palestine has conveyed regrets over its ambassador's presence at an event attended by worldwide terrorist and mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai attacks Hafiz Saeed. "But still, we can not find this acceptable... and the Palestinian government has chose to take action", he said. He will no longer be Palestine ambassador to Pakistan. "We stand together with India in its fight against terrorism", Al Haija said.

Describing the action of Abu Ali as "unacceptable", the MEA said India's concerns "were conveyed both in New Delhi to the Palestinian ambassador and in Ramallah to the minister of foreign affairs and expatriates". "Relations with India are very important for us".

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry defended the envoy, saying it welcomed his "active participation in events organized to express solidarity with the people of Palestine".

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. The countries disregarded Trump's threat to cut aid to the countries that voted for the resolution.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to visit Palestine in early 2018, and the decision of the Palestinian diplomat to support one of India's most wanted terrorists could have cast a shadow on the plans for the visit.

The Palestinian side too had conveyed "deep regrets", assuring India that they will take serious cognisance of their ambassador's presence at the event.

Thousands gathered in Rawalpindi in a protest organised by the Defence of Pakistan Council, an alliance of religious parties. But, the platform was used by Hafiz Saeed among others to give another call for jihad in Jammu and Kashmir.

On Friday, Ali, stood with Hafiz Saeed at a rally called to condemn the USA recognising Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv, as Israel's capital. It is imperative to not let the right-wing, pro-Israel, pro-militarisation lobby in India exploit what happened in Rawalpindi as remotely representative of the Palestinian people and our values.

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.

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