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02 January 2018, 04:21 | Bernice Figueroa
Walid Abu Ali, Palestine ambassador to Pakistan seated next to Hafiz Saeed at a rally in Rawalpindi
Earlier, India said it had lodged a protest with the Palestinian envoy in New Delhi and the authorities in Ramallah calling the presence of Wali at Saeed's rally "unacceptable".
Saeed, Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JuD) chief and co-founder of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), was photographed with Palestinian envoy Walid Abu Ali, attending a rally organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council in Liaquat Bagh in Pakistani's Rawalpindi on Friday morning.
In New Delhi, Palestine's envoy Adnan Abu Alhaijaa said that there were some politicians and parliamentarians attending the event.
"We are taking up the matter strongly with the Palestinian ambassador in New Delhi and with the Palestinian authorities", the foreign ministry spokesperson said on Friday.
The ambassador's recall came hours after the Palestine conveyed its "deep regrets" for the envoy's decision and assured India that they are taking serious cognizance of their Ambassador's presence at this event.
In a statement, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates stressed on the commitment of the State of Palestine and keenness to maintain strong and friendly relations with the Republic of India, as well as its support to the efforts made by the Republic of India in its war against terrorism and in that regard the State of Palestine affirms its stand with the Republic of India in dealing with its terrorist threats, as our nations are real partners in the war against terrorism.
Palestine calls it unintended mistake. The report quoted envoy Ali as saying "with Pakistan's tremendous support to Palestine cause, we do not feel alone".
"They have said they will deal with this matter appropriately", a foreign ministry statement on Saturday said.
The statement added that India expressed its unhappiness to Palestinian Ambassador and in Ramallah to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, State of Palestine.
The widely circulated picture of Abu Ali sharing a stage with Saeed in Rawalpindi, which also houses the headquarters of the Lashkar boss's mentor the Pakistan Army, led to strong outrage in official circles, coming as it does close on the heels of India going against the U.S. in a vote in the United Nations on the American decision to support Israel's move to declare Jerusalem its capital.
Palestinians deeply value the true voices of solidarity with our struggle for self-determination in Pakistan and India alike, and this solidarity can only be based on a common commitment to freedom, justice and equality as well as respect for global law.
While regretting Ali's presence at the Saeed event, Alhaijaa said the envoy had gone for an Al Quds (Jerusalem) conference. The rally in Rawalpindi was organised to oppose the United States move. In fact, when Saeed spoke, he asked people around him who he was... and then the Ambassador gave his own speech and left the stage. A western diplomat based in Islamabad said, "This was a case of poor judgment by the Palestinian Ambassador".
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