Colombo, December 30 (newsin.asia):Tension between India and Pakistan is palpable as 2017 draws to a close. Apart from the firing across the border in Kashmir with both sides reporting fatalities, other issues cropped up to sustain the mistrust between the two countries and end the year on a sour note.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi needlessly dragged Pakistan into the elections campaign in Gujarat, accusing former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of plotting with Pakistan to install a Muslim Congress leader, Ahmed Patel, as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. The former Prime Minister asked Modi to apologize for spreading heinous canard of this sort and for demeaning his own high office.
On its part, Pakistan not only allowed the release of the wanted anti-India terrorist mastermind and Jammat-ud-Dawa (JuD) leader Hafiz Saeed, but allowed his front to contest elections. And to irritate India further, Hafiz Saeed invited the Palestinian envoy to Pakistan, Wali Abu Ali, to join him on the stage in a protest meeting on Friday against the US-supported Israeli decision to shift Israel’s capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Pictures of the Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, sharing the stage with Saeed and addressing the rally at Liaqat Bagh in Rawalpindi were circulated on social media on Friday.
The development came as India and Palestine were discussing a possible visit to Ramallah by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February, the newspaper said. The visit is seen in India as a conciliatory gesture after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to New Delhi in January.
Saeed is wanted in India in connection with the 2008 Mumbai serial blasts case. He is said to have masterminded the carnage.
Subsequently Palestinian Ambassador to India Adnan Abu Al Haija informed the government on Saturday, that the Palestinian National Authority had decided to recall Walid Abu Ali.
“Palestine has very close ties with India and has always supported India’s fight against terror. As a result [Ambassador Ali] has been recalled to Ramallah by the government,” Ambassador Al Haija said in exclusive comments to The Hindu.
Pakistan also used a meeting between the alleged Indian spy, Kulbhushan Jadhav and his wife and mother, to make him “confess” to them and the world that he was indeed a RAW agent tasked to carry out terrorist strikes in Pakistan.
India accused Pakistan of using the solemn occasion for carrying out crude anti-Indian propaganda and also of breaking the bilateral understanding reached on the modalities of the meeting.
India Denies Visas to Pak Pilgrims
Due to non-issuance of visas by India, Pakistani pilgrims would not be able to participate in the “Urs” of Hazrat Khawaja Nizamuddin Aulia in Delhi
this year, the Pakistani media reported on Saturday.
In a statement released by the Pakistani Foreign Office in Islamabad regretted the last minute postponement and non-issuance of visas by New Delhi, for the visit of some 192 Pakistani pilgrims to the Indian capital from January 1 to 8 ,2018
The visit was to take place under the provisions of the 1974 Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines and is a regular, annual feature, said the Foreign Office statement.
“This is unfortunate and runs counter to the letter and spirit of the 1974 Protocol and objective of people-to-people contacts,” it added.
Earlier this year, despite Pakistan’s offer to send a special train, Indian delays had resulted in Sikh yatrees (pilgrims) from India being unable to participate in the martyrdom anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev and death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the statement further said.
“Besides being a violation of the bilateral protocol, and the basic human right to religious freedom, such measures also undermine the efforts aimed at improving the environment, increasing people-to-people contacts and normalizing relations between the two countries. It is ironic that this was done on the occasion of Urs of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya who was a symbol of bringing communities closer to each other,” the Foreign Office statement said.
(The featured image at the top shows the Palestinian Ambassador in Pakistan Walid Abu Ali with Hafiz Saeed chief of the terrorist organization Jamaat ud Dawa at a public meeting)