Almost a week after India’s vote against the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a senior Palestinian diplomat got into hot water for publicly fraternizing with one of India’s most wanted terrorist. Palestinian ‘Ambassador’ to Pakistan, Waleed Abu Ali, jointly addressed a rally with Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed 164 people and injured 308. The rally hosted by an alliance of Islamic groups was held to condemn the US decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State. The event took place in the northern Pakistan city of Rawalpindi.

Saeed, a Pakistani national, is the co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an outfit designated as terrorist organization by the US, India and several Western countries. India has been seeking Saeed’s extradition in connection with the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Pakistan has refused to comply with Indian requests and refused to place restrictions his activities within Pakistan.

The Modi government, already at odds with its right-wing base over the anti-Israel stance at the UN, came under further attack from conservative Indian commentators and social media users. Seeing a top Palestinian official openly hobnobbing with India’s most wanted terrorist came as a vindication for many Indian’s who see Israel as a natural ally in their war against global Jihad and see the Palestinian PLO-Hamas duo as instigators of terror.

The leading national newspaper Indian Express reported the diplomatic of the incident:

Eight days after India voted against US President Donald Trump’s move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Palestinian envoy to Pakistan, Waleed Abu Ali, shared the stage with Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief, Hafiz Saeed, at a rally in Rawalpindi on Friday. Hours after the photographs of Ali with Saeed surfaced on social media, Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that New Delhi would take up the matter “strongly” with the Palestinian government. “We have seen reports in this regard. We are taking up the matter strongly with the Palestinian ambassador in New Delhi and with the Palestinian authorities,” he said.

The rally was organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, a coalition of hardline Islamic parties in Pakistan that campaigns aggressively against India and the United States, in Rawalpindi’s Liaqat Bagh on Friday.

Mahmoud Abbas-led Palestinian Authority (PA) tried to downplay the diplomatic incident calming their envoy rubbing shoulders with “individuals accused of supporting terrorism” was, in fact, an “unintended mistake.”

PA supremo Abbas would hate losing India’s diplomatic support, a country that contributes millions to his coffers each year and still holds some sway over third-world ‘non-aligned‘ countries.

“He did not know terrorist Hafiz Saeed,” Palestine’s envoy to India, Adnan Abu Alhaijaa, told the local media, “In fact, when Saeed spoke, he asked people around him who he was.”

But India refused to buy the argument. As an Indian newspaper commented: “Given the prolific engagement of Walid Abu Ali in Pakistan it is unlikely that he did not know who Hafiz Saeed was.” Indian pressure finally forced Palestinian Authority to recall its envoy from Pakistan. The current affairs magazine India Today reported:

Palestine on Saturday recalled its envoy to Pakistan for sharing the stage with 26/11 terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, with President Mahmoud Abbas directly intervening to order the recall after India strongly protested the envoy’s action as “unacceptable”.

“Palestine is keen to maintain good relations with friendly India and supports it for the efforts in its fight against terrorism,” the Palestine Foreign Office spokesperson said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Palestine in a statement however clarified 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 Palestinian Authority’s feigned shock over one of its ambassadors palling around with terrorists is nothing short of a bad joke. PA-chief Abbas himself is a card-carrying member of the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the favorite underling of Yasser Arafat. Under the PA rule, school curricula are not designed to educate children, but to raise the next generation of terrorists and hate-mongers.

By sharing the stage with notorious Islamists and terrorists, Palestinian envoy was merely socializing with his comrades-in-Jihad. The only truly shocking fact is India’s diplomatic stance towards the PLO-Hamas alliance. India should have known full well when it sided with the Palestinians on the anti-Israel resolution at the UN, whom it was getting in bed with. More than three-decades of relentless Islamist terror campaign in its soil should have woken up India to the reality of worldwide Jihad.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will get an excellent opportunity to patch up the strained relationship when his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu lands in New Delhi later this month. India can take these revelations as a wake-up call and realign its foreign policy, or ignore it at its own peril.

Video: Palestinian envoy recalled From Pakistan for rallying with Hafiz Saeed:


[Cover image via YouTube]