New Delhi: Days after India voted against US President Donald Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Palestinian envoy to Pakistan, Waleed Abu Ali, shared the stage with JuD chief Hafiz Saeed at a rally organized by jihadi groups on Friday.
Photos of the Palestinian ambassador sharing the stage with Saeed and addressing the rally organized by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council at Liaqat Bagh in Rawalpindi were circulated on social media on Friday. The rally was organized to condemn the US move on Jerusalem.
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.
Difa-e-Pakistan Council is a coalition of hardline Islamic parties in Pakistan that campaigns aggressively against India and the United States. This is also the same place where former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007.
A global terrorist, Saeed carries a bounty of $10 million on his head and is wanted by India on charges of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
India and Palestine are also discussing a possible visit to Ramallah by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February.
Photos on social media showed the Palestinian envoy seated next to Saeed and addressing the large gathering. Several speakers at the gathering referred to the Kashmir issue and made anti-India remarks. Saeed also invited all Muslim nations to act in the defense of Jerusalem.
India had voted in favor of the UN resolution calling for the United States to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite immense pressure from close allies, US and Israel.
Trump had threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that voted in favour. A total of 128 countries backed the resolution, nine voted against and 35 abstained.
India voted with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Maldives, in favor of the resolution. The US was isolated as there were only nine votes against the resolution including its own and Israel’s. Interestingly, Bhutan is among the 35 countries — along with Canada, Australia and Mexico — to have abstained. Another 21 nations just didn’t show up for the vote.
Indian foreign policy under Modi is not different from the UPA and it shows that there is no such thing as the Modi doctrine.