Palestine denies report of reinstating Pak envoy

NEW DELHI, JAN 7: Palestine today denied a Pakistani media report which had claimed that the ousted Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, has been reinstated and said that the envoy is “very much in Palestine”. Last month, Palestine had recalled Ali from Pakistan after he was seen sharing a stage with 26/11 Mumbai terror strike mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Rawalpindi.
“We deny this information. Our ambassador in Pakistan is in Palestine and our position was declared by our official statement which we have published last week,” said Palestinian Foreign Ministry.
Earlier today, a report in Pakistan-based Geo News had quoted Pakistan Ulema Council chairman Maulana Tashir Ashrafi as saying that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has reinstated Ali.
On December 30, Palestine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had withdrawn Ali from Pakistan after India lodged a strong protest over his appearance at a rally with Saeed, in Rawalpindi, terming it “unacceptable”.
In a statement, Palestinian Authority said the envoy’s participation “in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism” was “an unintended mistake, but not justified.”
It also described Palestine as a “real partner” of India in its war against terrorism and also expressed its appreciation for New Delhi’s vote in favour of the resolution at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the issue of Jerusalem.
Even then, Islamabad had issued a statement in defence of Ali and appreciated his participation in an event which demonstrated Pakistan’s strong sentiments in support of the Palestinian cause.
Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan Ali had attended the Difah-e-Pakistan Council rally organised in Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi on December 29. Difah-e-Pakistan Council is an association of religious and extremist groups in Pakistan, headed by Saeed.