Palestinians recall envoy after rally with wanted cleric

Hajia emphasised that Palestine supports India in its fight against terrorism and Ali will be appointed again.

Palestine's ambassador to Pakistan took part in a Jerusalem-related rally along with 26/11 terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed on Friday.

In New Delhi, Palestine's envoy Adnan Abu Alhaijaa said that there were some politicians and parliamentarians attending the event. "We are taking upthe matter strongly with the Palestinian ambassador in New Delhi and with the Palestinian authorities", External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

A statement issued by Indian Ministry of External Affairs, according to the report, 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 event. 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.

On Friday, the envoy had reportedly attended a rally organized by the Difah-e-Pakistan Council, an association of religious and extremist groups led by Hafiz Saeed in Rawalpindi. 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.

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

The action of the Palestinian envoy in Pakistan came days after India voted with the rest of the world in favour of an Arab resolution in the UN General Assembly rejecting US President Donald Trump's decision recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Saeed, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba armed group, has always been accused by the United States and India of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which saw gunmen kill 166 people as they stormed hotels and other targets in the Indian financial hub. "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". It has campaigned for long for snapping ties with India and the US.

Saeed, who was last month set free from a 300-day-long house arrest, has been repeatedly accused by the U.S. and India of masterminding the 2008 attacks on the Indian financial capital Mumbai that killed 166 people.

Pakistan has refused extradition requests from the United States for Saeed and allows him to operate relatively freely.

Difa-e-Pakistan (Defence of Pakistan) Council (DPC) is an alliance of Islamist groups in Pakistan, including Saeed's outfit.

Palestine wants to maintain a healthy relationship with India. India, in a statement, said the meeting with worldwide terrorists was unacceptable.

  • Joey Payne