An unintended mistake, but not justified: Palestine tries to pacify India

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".

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has recalled its ambassador to Pakistan after he attended a rally in support of Palestine's position on Jerusalem hosted by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who carries a $10m U.S. bounty on his head for allegedly masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Miffed with photos of Palestinian Ambassador sharing the dais with Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has made a decision to register the protest with Palestinian authorities.

"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", the external affairs ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

"The spokesman for the Palestinian Foreign Ministry stresses the commitment of the State of Palestine and its keenness to maintain good relations with the friendly Republic of India, as well as its support for the efforts of the Republic of India in its war against terrorism", noted the Palestinian foreign ministry's statement.

Walid Abu Ali, the Palestinian envoy to Islamabad, attended a rally organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council in Rawalpindi on Friday morning.

What followed was a calculated measure from Palestine, who said, "it was an unintended mistake, but not justified". Ministry of External Affairs said Palestine has regretted the meet. The report quoted envoy Ali as saying "with Pakistan's tremendous support to Palestine cause, we do not feel alone".

In a stern statement on Friday night, the MEA said it would take up the matter "strongly", and had called in Ambassador Al Haija to deliver the message.

India had clarified that it stands for an independent Palestine. He had gone to Rawalpindi to attend the event which was organised to further the voices of Palestine's people.

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 did not know the terrorist Hafiz Saeed.

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. Palestine, however, has consistently voted against India on the J&K issue- both in the United Nations and in OIC- for years, while criticising India's growing relationship with Israel.

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