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Photo: Twitter
Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan Abu Ali (R) and Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Saeed
Photo: Twitter
Palestinian envoy to Pakistan shares stage with Mumbai attacks mastermind
India incensed, severely rebukes Palestinian Authority over participation of its ambassador in rally to "defend Jerusalem from Israel" alongside Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist organization behind 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 173 people.

India harshly protested to the Palestinian Authority Friday, after the Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan shared a stage in a rally held in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi with leader of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist organization and mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks Hafiz Muhammad Saeed.

 

 

Indian media outlets reported the country's government announced its displeasure to the Palestinians in no uncertain terms. Spokesman for the Indian Foreign Ministry Raveesh Kumar said, "We are taking up the matter strongly with the Palestinian ambassador in New Delhi and with the Palestinian authorities."

 

Palestinian ambassador Walid Abu Ali's photos from Pakistan were disseminated on social media after it was reported he had attended a rally organized by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council in a Rawalpindi park.

 

Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan Abu Ali (R) and Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Saeed (Photo: Twitter)
Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan Abu Ali (R) and Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Saeed (Photo: Twitter)

 

The Difa-e-Pakistan Council, or Defense of Pakistan Council, is an umbrella organization for some 40 religious and extremists' group from Pakistan that regularly attacks India.

 

The organization's leader is Saeed, accused by India of masterminding the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that claimed the lives of 173 people. Saeed is on the United Nations and United States' list of recognized terrorists, at India's request.

 

The rally was intended to exert pressure on Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to convene an Islamic summit meeting to "defend Jerusalem from Israel."

 

The Palestinian ambassador's presence at a rally organized by Lashkar-e-Taiba could be considered a slap in the face to India, who only last week voted in the UN in favor of a resolution disavowing President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

 

Indian media reported New Delhi was "surprised and shocked" at Abu Ali's attendance of the rally.

 

India was one of the 128 countries voting in the UN to censure President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as capital
India was one of the 128 countries voting in the UN to censure President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as capital

 

India, along with 127 other nations, voted in favor of the resolution stating Jerusalem's final status will only be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. India's vote on the matter was considered a move aimed against Israel, the Asian juggernaut's close friend, as well as against strategic partner the US.

 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government was thus somewhat criticized by its own supporters, who considered the vote a letdown to the country's allies. Modi himself lauded the two countries' relations when he visited Israel this past July, marking the first time an Indian premier has journeyed to the Jewish state. Israel also protested the vote directly to India.

 

PM Netanyahu (L) embracing his Indian counterpart Modi during the latter's historic visit to Israel this past July (Photo: Reuters)
PM Netanyahu (L) embracing his Indian counterpart Modi during the latter's historic visit to Israel this past July (Photo: Reuters)

 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas held a state visit to India earlier this year, while Indian Premier Modi is expected to reciprocate the visit in the coming months.

 

Nevertheless, Palestine has consistently voted against India in the UN and as part of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation vis-à-vis its prolonged conflict with Pakistan and China surrounding control of the Kashmir region, and also protested the country's ever-tightening relations with Israel.

 

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