Palestine denies reports of its envoy to Pakistan being reinstated
The Pakistani envoy was seen sharing the dias with Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed at a rally in Rawalpindi, prompting a furious reaction from India.Updated: Jan 09, 2018 12:32 IST
Palestine on Sunday dismissed reports that its ambassador to Pakistan Walid Abu Ali, who was recalled after he was seen sharing the stage with Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, has been reinstated.
Ali’s move had also triggered a strong reaction from India, which strongly protested his presence with Saeed — a UN designated terrorist — at an anti-US and anti-Israel rally organised by organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council in Rawalpindi on December 29.
“The former ambassador to Pakistan is in Palestine and our position was declared by our official statement issued last week. We don’t want Palestine to be used as an issue between India and Pakistan,” a Palestinian official told HT.
When contacted, the Pakistan Foreign Office said that they were not aware of any such move by the Palestinian authorities.
Reports of Ali being allegedly reinstated emerged after Pakistan Ulema Council chairperson Maulana Tahir Ashrafi told Karachi-based Geo News that he had requested Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to reinstate Ali in view of the ambassador’s services rendered to Pakistan. He had further claimed that Abbas had agreed and Ali was to return to Pakistan on Wednesday to resume his duties.
In December, India had issued a strongly worded demarche after photos of Ali sharing the stage with Saeed were circulated on social media.
Barely hours after the Indian statement, a Palestinian official had told Hindustan Times: “The ambassador has been recalled from Pakistan and asked to report to Ramallah. Palestine is part of the world community and it is committed to fighting terrorism. This shouldn’t have happened.”
The Palestinian ambassador to India, Adnan Abu Al Haij, was quoted as saying that his government supported India “in its fight against terrorism” and had decided to call back its Pakistan envoy.