Palestine recalls ambassador to Pakistan who attended rally alongside Hafiz Saeed

Walid Abu Ali, Palestine ambassador to Pakistan seated next to Hafiz Saeed at a rally in Rawalpindi

According to the Hindustan Times, the Palestinian move came after India strongly objected to the envoy's presence at the DPC rally. Haija asserted that Ali's action was not acceptable given the close and friendly ties between India and Palestine.

Palestine on Saturday recalled its envoy to Pakistan for sharing the stage with 26/11 terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, with President Mahmoud Abbas directly intervening to order the recall after India strongly protested the envoy's action as "unacceptable".

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.

The Palestinian side has conveyed deep regrets over the incident and assured the Government of India that they are taking serious cognizance of their Ambassador's presence at this event, it added.

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What followed was a calculated measure from Palestine, who said, "it was an unintended mistake, but not justified".

India has described the envoy's association with Saeed as "unacceptable" but Pakistan's foreign ministry has defended the envoy saying it welcomed his "active participation in events organized to express solidarity with the people of Palestine".

The ministry said the decision to recall the envoy to Pakistan immediately had been taken "under direct instructions of the President of the State of Palestine". The countries disregarded Trump's threat to cut aid to the countries that voted for the resolution.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to travel to Palestine in the coming months.

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Since his release, Saeed has made several anti-India and anti-US statements at various rallies across Pakistan, invoking Khulbhushan Jadhav and Kashmir.

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. "He (Walid Abu Ali) did not know terrorist Hafiz Saeed".

"The State of Palestine highly appreciates India's support in its tireless efforts to end the Israeli occupation and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine on the 1967 boarders with East Jerusalem as its capital and this is especially seen in the honorable position that India has taken by voting in favor of the resolution in the United Nation General Assembly last week", the spokesman said. India had chose to vote along with the principled position taken by New Delhi for the last seven decades, despite the BJP-led NDA government taking steps to strengthen bilateral relations with Israel.

"The public meeting held yesterday was yet another demonstration of the Pakistani strong sentiments in support of the Palestinian cause", said an FO statement. In early December, he had met Pakistan's Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi. We also condemn sharing of a stage with him by any Palestinian official, an act that contradicts our people's principled commitment to universal human rights and democracy and undermines the decades-long friendship between the Indian people and the people of Palestine.

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