ISLAMABAD - The Ambassador of the State of Palestine in Pakistan Walid AM Abu Ali on Sunday left charge of his position.

He left Islamabad early morning through a commercial flight from the Benazir Bhutto International Airport and will reach Palestine via Abu Dhabi, The Nation has learnt through reliable sources.

According to diplomatic sources, the spouse and other family members of Walid Abu Ali are still in Islamabad and will get repatriated later.

The responsibilities of the ambassador re-called by Palestinian authorities on special directives by President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, has been assumed by the Chargé d’affaires till the arrival of the new ambassador.

On Friday, the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, a coalition of Islamic political parties in Pakistan, assembled a major rally in order to express solidarity with the Palestinian cause and to protest against the recent decision introduced by US President Donald J Trump announcing Jerusalem as capital of Israel.

Walid Abu Ali participated in the said gathering that took place in Liaqat Bagh, Rawalpindi, where the Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed was also present, despite the fact that the gathering was in solidarity with the Palestine issue.

After when a photograph of Walid bu Ali sitting near Hafiz Saeed went viral, India logged a complaint with the Palestinian authority objecting over participation of the Palestinian envoy in the rally where Hafiz Saeed was also present.

Following the complaint lodged by India, the president of Palestine issued directions for re-calling Abu Ali back to Palestine.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday issued a statement saying that “The public meeting held yesterday [Friday] was yet another demonstration of the Pakistani strong sentiments in support of the Palestinian cause. This public rally was attended by thousands of people from all walks of life. More than 50 speakers addressed the rally, including Hafiz Saeed. Contrary to the impression being created, UN proscription does not place any restrictions on the freedom of expression.”

It also stated, “The people and Government of Pakistan respect the Palestinian ambassador’s active participation in events organised to express solidarity with the people of Palestine.”

On the other hand, Palestine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates also issued a statement on Saturday that caused disappointment for Islamabad. 

The statement said “On the basis of the principled and firm Palestinian position, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates considered the participation of our ambassador in Pakistan in a mass rally in solidarity with Jerusalem, held in Rawalpindi on Friday and in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified.”

As a step forward the particular statement also extended support for India in its “anti-terror war” by saying, “MOFAE stressed on commitment of the state of Palestine and keenness to maintain strong and friendly relations with the Republic of India, as well as its support to the efforts made by the Republic of India in its war against terrorism and in this regard the State of Palestine affirms its stand with the Republic of India in dealing with its terrorist threats, as our nations are real partners in war against terrorism.”

A graduate from Bethlehem University, West Bank Walid Abu Ali was considered an active and popular Palestinian envoy in Pakistan.