Palestinian envoy shares dias with Hafiz Saeed

India backed Palestine on Jerusalem at UN. Modi is likely to visit Palestine in February. Palestinian envoy to Pakistan attends anti-India rally

The Narendra Modi government's Palestine policy has been put to test by Palestinian envoy to Pakistan Waleed Abu Ali at a time when India is taking efforts to balance its recent pro-Israel tilt.

India expressed unequivocal support to Palestine over the question of Jerusalem on December 21, when it voted for a resolution asking the Donald Trump administration of the US to withdraw its recognition to the ancient city as the capital of Israel.

India's vote against the US was seen as its independent foreign policy of striking a balance between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority.

The stand taken by Modi government at the UNGA carried the risk of irking Donald Trump, who went berserk in his response to vote on the resolution.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Palestine in February. Reports suggest that the visit is being planned and external affairs ministry officials are in talks with their Palestinian counterparts.

This visit may take place around the World Government Summit in UAE, where India has been invited as a guest country. PM Modi is scheduled to be in UAE for the meet scheduled for February 11-13.

The Palestinian leg of Modi's visit will be part of prime minister's west Asia tour next year. The visit is being planned to assert India's "balanced" policy towards Israel and Palestine.

Modi's Palestine visit would follow his trip to Israel in May this year and reciprocal tour by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's India visit in mid-January, 2018. He will not be visiting Israel when he tours Palestine in February.


But, Narendra Modi's pro-Palestine gestures seem to have no bearing on the Palestinian National Authority. Barely a week after India stood solid with Palestine, the Palestinian envoy to Pakistan Waleed Abu Ali attended an anti-India anti-US rally of designated global terrorist Hafiz Saeed.

Hafiz Saeed is the mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks of 2008 when 166 people were killed by 10 Pakistani gunmen, who entered the commercial capital of India via sea and created mayhem for four days. Later, the US declared a bounty of USD 1 crore on Hafiz Saeed's head.

Waleed Abu Ali attended the Friday rally organised by Difa-e-Pakistan Council, which an umbrella organisation for hardline anti-India anti-US Islamic groups in Pakistan. Hafiz Saeed's Jamaat-ud-Dawa is party to this anti-India campaign. India has expressed anguish over the development.

The anti-India rally was held at the Liaqat Bagh - former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated here in December, 2007 - and Hafiz Saeed spewed venom against India calling for upping intensity of jihad in Kashmir Valley.

Palestinian envoy Waleed Abu Ali was on the stage signaling Palestine's support to a radical group that sponsors terrorism. Ali's presence at the Rawalpindi rally of Hafiz Saeed follows his meeting with Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa early this month.