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Pakistan says use of picture ‘backfired’ on India

Lodhi had held up the picture of an injured girl from Gaza

Gulf News

United Nations/Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday said that its own use of a fake picture at the General Assembly has “backfired” on India.

“Raking up debate on pictures has backfired,” Tipu Usman, a counsellor in Pakistan’s Mission, told the Assembly on Monday responding to India reacting to the use of a photo of an injured girl from Gaza as a Kashmiri victim.

Earlier Paulomi Tripathi said that Islamabad’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi had “callously” exploited the picture of a Palestinian girl “to divert attention from Pakistan’s role as the hub of global terrorism.”

Speaking about Kashmir while replying to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s speech at the Assembly on Saturday, Lodhi had held up the picture of Rawya Abu Jom’a taken in July 2014 and published by The New York Times in March 2015 under the caption, “Conflict, Courage and Healing in Gaza.”

For contrast, Tripathi held up a picture of the body of Lt. Umar Faiyaz surrounded by mourners, and another of Lodhi displaying the fake picture.

Faiyaz was kidnapped at a wedding and allegedly tortured and killed by terrorists backed by Pakistan in May, she said.

“This is a true picture,” she said drawing attention to the picture of Faiyaz being mourned. “It portrays a harsh reality. A picture of terror emanating from across our borders that the people of India, especially in the Jammu and Kashmir have to struggle with everyday.”

Meanwhile, asked at his daily briefing if the President of the General Assembly (PGA), Miroslav Lajcak could do anything about fake pictures being used at the Assembly as was done by Lodhi, his spokesperson Brian Varma said, “I don’t think the PGA has a role, but I will look into it.”

“The Indian representative has once again chosen to divert the attention of the international community from the real issue,” Usman said.

“India who kills and tortures innocent Kashmiris is seeking to hide behind a photograph.”

He repeated statements made by Lodhi about India being led by former members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) that believes in “racial superiority and religious dominance.”

He accused India of war crimes and alleged it was backing terrorist organisations such as Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA).

Borrowing a phrase from Swaraj’s speech about Pakistan’s role in global terror, Usman said that “factories of terror” in India were sending out operatives like “Yadav”.

It was a reference to Kulbhushan Jhadav, a former Indian Navy officer, who Pakistan says it caught in Balochistan.

A Pakistani military court has sentenced him to death and India, which has denied he was its spy, has appealed to the International Court of Justice to stop his execution.

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