Walid Abu Ali, Palestine ambassador to Pakistan, made a public appearance at a rally called by Hafiz Saeed, also a key leader of Difa-e-Pakistan Council, a coalition of more than 40 political and religious parties that advocate conservative policies and often targets India.
At Friday’s meeting, according to reports from Pakistan, the agenda was primarily to put pressure on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to convene an Islamic Summit Conference against the transfer of Israeli capital to Jerusalem.
That meeting with Saeed, who has been designated a global terrorist by the United States and the Union Nations at India’s request, “surprised and shocked” many in New Delhi.
“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,” foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
The meeting came just days after India, in sync with Palestinian sentiments, voted in the United Nations General Assembly to oppose the recent decision of US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Sources said New Delhi was particularly surprised at the Palestinian envoy reaching out, and lending credibility to Hafiz Saeed who had orchestrated numerous attacks on India and had a bounty on his head for his involvement in terrorist activities.