Pakistan’s move backfires at the UN General Assembly

What Pakistan expected to be a field day at the United Nations turned out to be a nightmare. India on Monday sent a junior diplomat at its permanent mission at the United Nations against Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi’s allegations against India of terrorism and human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and held out a picture in support of her arguments that turned out to be from Gaza.

If the international community wishes to “avoid a dangerous escalation between India and Pakistan”, it must call on India to halt its “provocations and aggressive actions”, Pakistan told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 24, responding to Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj’s scathing attack on Islamabad’s promotion of Islamist terrorism.

“The Permanent Representative (PR) of Pakistan misled this Assembly by displaying this picture to spread falsehoods about India. A fake picture to push a completely false narrative,” Indian diplomat Paulomi Tripathi told the UNGA, in response.

Ms. Tripathi said the Pakistan PR “yet again sought to divert attention from Pakistan’s role as the hub of global terrorism”. “She did so by callously holding up a picture of an injured girl.”

The photograph was of Rawya Abu Jom’a, a girl from Palestine. “The picture was taken on July 22, 2014 by an American photographer Heidi Levine. This photograph was published by New York Times on 24 March 2015 under the caption ‘Conflict, Courage and Healing in Gaza’,” as reported by The Hindu.

Ms. Tripathi then went on to show a photograph that she said “reflects the real picture of pain inflicted by the nefarious designs of Pakistan on India” — of Lt. Umar Faiyaz, an Indian soldier, who was kidnapped and murdered in Kashmir.

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