Why Palestine’s envoy who shared dais with Hafiz Saeed is not as innocent as Ramallah claims

Source:-Why Palestine’s envoy who shared dais with Hafiz Saeed is not as innocent as Ramallah claims

Buckling under pressure from India, Palestinian National Authority yesterday recalled its envoy to Pakistan for publically showing solidarity with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and other jihadi terrorist leaders in Rawalpindi on Friday.

Recalled Palestinian envoy Waleed Abu Ali attended and spoke at a rally purportedly oganised to condemn the Donald Trump administration’s move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But, the platform was used by Hafiz Saeed among others to give another call for jihad in Jammu and Kashmir.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa (or Lashkar-e-Taiba) chief Hafiz Saeed is a proscribed terrorist by the UN and designated as global terrorist by the US. The US government has a bounty of USD 1 crore on his head.

Hafiz Saeed is the mastermind of many terror attacks including 26/11 Mumbai carnage that took 166 lives. Hafiz Saeed is one the most notorious figures in Pakistan and has just walked out of jail under controversial circumstances.

But the statement issued yesterday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Palestine looks like an attempt to present its envoy Walid Abu Ali as an innocent man who made an error of judgment in the realm of diplomacy.

This may not be the case.

FIRST, WHAT PALESTINE SAID

After India send a strongly worded demarche to Palestine after Walid Abu Ali was seen in photographs sharing stage with Hafiz Saeed at an event, Palestine said that his envoy made “an unintended mistake”.

The clarification issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Palestine in Ramallah said that the “participation of our envoy in a mass solidarity rally with Jerusalem, held in Rawalpindi on Friday, and in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified.”

“The State of Palestine affirms its stand with the Republic of India in dealing with terrorist threats, as our nations are real partners in the war against terrorism,” the statement said.

“Accordingly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates under the direct instructions of the President of the State of Palestine to recall the Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan immediately,” it said.

In New Delhi, Palestine’s envoy Adnan Abu Alhaijaa said that there were some politicians and parliamentarians attending the event. “He (Walid Abu Ali) did not know terrorist Hafiz Saeed. In fact, when Saeed spoke, he asked people around him who he was…He did not know the terrorist personally.”

But the photograph of Walid Abu Ali exchanging words with Hafiz Saeed in all seriousness at the stage contradicts Alhaijaa’s claim.

NOW, SOME FACTS ABOUT ORGANISERS

The Friday’s event was organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, of which Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa is a constituent. The Difa-e-Pakistan Council is an umbrella organisation for hardline anti-India anti-US Islamic groups in Pakistan.

The Wikipedia page of the Difa-e-Pakistan shows that it has several chiefs of banned organisations as members. These organisations include Harkat-ul Mujahideen and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (now renamed as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat) – which has been twice banned as terrorist organisation in Pakistan itself.

The chief of Difa-e-Pakistan is Sami-ul Haq, who is considered as the father of the Taliban. He had close ties with Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar.

Sami-ul Haq has served as a Senate member of Pakistan and launched a political party to contest 2013 general elections. His manifesto included providing training to all adult Muslims with a purpose to prepare them for jihad.

ACTION ON ALI MERE EYEWASH?

Invitation to Walid Abu Ali came from Difa-e-Pakistan, where he had been the ambassador of Palestine for more than two years. Walid Abu Ali was said to be a popular envoy in the diplomatic circles in Pakistan.

Before attending the Difa-e-Pakistan event in Rawalpindi on Friday, Walid Abu Ali had a meeting with the Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa early this month. Given the prolific engagement of Walid Abu Ali in Pakistan it is unlikely that he did not know who Hafiz Saeed was.

Recall of Walid Abu Ali and the Palestinian statement on his sharing of stage with a designated terrorist may be just an attempt to make sure Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not cancel his proposed visit to Ramallah in February.

 

 

 

 

 

Source: India Today

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