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Islamabad - Palestinians Recall Envoy After Rally With Pakistan Cleric Linked To Mumbai Attack

Published on: December 31, 2017 09:22 AM
By: AP
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In this Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, photo, Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan Walid Abu Ali, left, sits next to Hafiz Saeed, the head of the hard-line Jamaat-ud-Dawa, during an anti-U.S. rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The Palestinians have withdrawn their envoy to Pakistan, Ali, after he appeared at a rally with a radical cleric linked to the 2008 Mumbai attacks. (AP Photo/A.H. Chaudary)In this Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, photo, Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan Walid Abu Ali, left, sits next to Hafiz Saeed, the head of the hard-line Jamaat-ud-Dawa, during an anti-U.S. rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The Palestinians have withdrawn their envoy to Pakistan, Ali, after he appeared at a rally with a radical cleric linked to the 2008 Mumbai attacks. (AP Photo/A.H. Chaudary)

Islamabad - The Palestinians have withdrawn their envoy to Pakistan after he appeared at a rally with a radical cleric linked to the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Palestinian envoy Walid Abu Ali shared the stage with Hafiz Saeed, the head of the hard-line Jamaat-ud-Dawa movement, at Friday’s rally, which was held to protest U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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The rally in Rawalpindi, attended by thousands, was organized by the Defense of Pakistan Council, an alliance of religious parties dominated by Saeed’s group. Jamaat-ud-Dawa is believed to be a front for Lashker-e-Taiba, a militant group that fights Indian troops in the disputed region of Kashmir, and which was blamed for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people.

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. He was recently placed under house arrest for 11 months but was released after a court ruled in his favor.

Saeed denies involvement in the 2008 attacks, and Pakistan says India has not provided enough evidence to charge him. U.S. officials have long accused Pakistan of harboring extremists, allegations denied by Islamabad.

In a statement Saturday addressed to India, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the envoy’s participation “in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism” was “an unintended mistake, but not justified.” It said the envoy has been recalled.

India had lodged a protest with the Palestinians earlier Saturday, calling the envoy’s association with Saeed “unacceptable.”

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry defended the envoy, saying it welcomed his “active participation in events organized to express solidarity with the people of Palestine.”

Near-daily rallies have been held in Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world since President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital earlier this month, a move seen as siding with the Jewish state against the Palestinians, who claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.



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 Dec 31, 2017 at 09:17 PM Liepa Says:

I'm sure there's a valid reason why muslims and arabs were gifted (feh) to the world but really what can that truly be ? They have given the world nothing but grief since their inception.

They haven't contributed anything positive to humanity in their 1400 year existence.

In fact, their only contribution to the world has and is bloodshed and more savagery and bloodshed. Let them go back to wherever the heck they came from.

THEY WON'T BE MISSED !!!

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