Palestine on Sunday denied reports that its former ambassador to Pakistan was reinstated. Walid Abu Ali was recalled in December for attending a rally where he shared the stage with 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed.
“We deny this information,” the Foreign Ministry told ANI. “Our ambassador in Pakistan, he is in Palestine and our position was declared by our official statement which we have published last week. We don’t know from where you got this information about [the] Palestine ambassador to Pakistan being reinstated. As per our knowledge he is very much in Palestine as of now.”
Palestine’s Ambassador to India Abu Alhaijaa also refuted reports that Ali was reinstated. “Walid Abu Ali is still in Palestine and there is no change in the decision,” he told ANI.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan Ulema Council chairperson Maulana Tahir Ashrafi was quoted by Geo News as saying that he had asked Palestine to reinstate Ali. Ashrafi claimed the envoy would be back on duty in Pakistan on Wednesday.
On December 30, the Palestinian government had decided to recall Walid Abu Ali from his post as ambassador to Pakistan. “What he did [sharing the dais with Saeed] was unacceptable to the Palestinian government,” Palestine’s ambassador to New Delhi Alhaijaa had said. “Palestine supports India in its fight against terrorism.”
The India’s Ministry of External Affairs had said that it had “strongly conveyed” to the Palestinian government that the presence of the Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan at an event Saeed attended was unacceptable.