Palestine recalls ambassador to Pakistan who attended rally alongside Hafiz Saeed

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". "This isn't why we voted for you", the site reported one person tweeted.

The Palestinian envoy to Pakistan has been ordered back to Ramallah after appearing at a rally with a radical cleric linked to the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Difa-e-Pakistan (Defence of Pakistan) Council (DPC) is an alliance of Islamist groups in Pakistan, including Saeed's outfit.

India had lodged a protest with the Palestinians on Saturday, calling the envoy's association with Saeed "unacceptable".

The Palestinian foreign ministry in its statement said Palestine "highly appreciates" the move by India to vote in favour of a resolution asking the USA to withdraw its decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital at the United Nations General Assembly. India, like 127 other countries, voted in the United Nations on the principle that the status of Jerusalem would be decided after a deal between Israel and Palestine.

"The public meeting held yesterday was yet another demonstration of the Pakistani strong sentiments in support of the Palestinian cause", said a foreign ministry statement. Pictures of Abu Ali circulated on social media after he reportedly attended the rally organized by the Difah-e-Pakistan Council in Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi.

Miffed with photos of Palestinian Ambassador sharing the dais with Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has made a decision to register the protest with Palestinian authorities.

"We take note of the assurances given by the Palestine side", the statement added.

In a statement, the MEA said the Palestinian side has conveyed "deep regrets" over the incident and assured India that they are taking serious cognisance of their ambassador's presence at this event.

Palestine wants to maintain a healthy relationship with India. It was also conveyed that Palestine highly values its relationship with India and stands with us in war against terrorism and will not engage with those who commit acts of terror against India, it further said.

Palestinians deeply value the true voices of solidarity with our struggle for self-determination in Pakistan and India alike, and this solidarity can only be based on a common commitment to freedom, justice and equality as well as respect for global law.

Saeed, the founder of Lashker-e-Taiba, is wanted by the United States, which has offered a $10 million reward for his arrest, but Pakistan has refused extradition requests and allows him to operate relatively freely. In early December, he had met Pakistan's Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi.