NEW DELHI, Dec. 30: India slammed Palestine on Friday for its ambassador in Pakistan sharing a platform with JuD/LeT chief Hafiz Saeed at a rally in Rawalpindi. India is serving a strongly worded demarche to the Palestine government, expressing displeasure.
In a late evening statement, Indian MEA spokesperson said tersely, "We are taking up the matter strongly with the Palestinian ambassador in New Delhi and with the Palestinian authorities".
Pictures of the Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan, Waleed Abu Ali circulated on social media after he reportedly attended a rally organized by the Difah-e-Pakistan Council in Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi. Difah-e-Pakistan Council is an umbrella group of 40 religious and extremist groups in Pakistan, headed by the JuD chief, Hafiz Saeed. Saeed is banned as a global terrorist by the UN and is accused as the mastermind of the 26/11 attacks. Saeed used the rally to call for an "Islamic summit" to defend Jerusalem from Israel.
The presence of the Palestinian envoy at a JuD rally is a slap on the face for India- just last week India voted for a UNGA resolution against the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
India, like 127 other countries voted on the principle that the status of Jerusalem would be decided after a deal between Israel and Palestine. India's vote was seen to be against Israel, a close friend of India, as well as US, its close strategic partner.
The Modi government came under some criticism from its own supporters who thought India had let its friends down. The Israeli government too registered its protest against the Indian vote.
Not only has the Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas visited india earlier this year on a state visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Palestine in the coming months. Palestine, however, has consistently voted against India on the J&K issue both in the UN and in the OIC for years, while criticising India's growing relationship with Israel.
India therefore has no choice but to take a grim view of the Palestine envoy's actions. TOI
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