Pak diplomat goofs up at UN, tries to pass off Gaza teen image as Kashmir girl


New Delhi: Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, made an embarrassing faux pas on Saturday when she attempted to pass off a photo of a Gaza girl as that of a Kashmiri.
Lodhi was responding to Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s attack on Pakistan at the United Nations General Assembly, calling it a “pre-eminent export factory for terror”.
Exercising the right of reply, Lodhi claimed that Swaraj was “indulging in an orgy of slander against Pakistan”.
She accused India of “crimes against humanity” and of carrying out a “campaign of brutality inside Kashmir”. To prove her point, she brandished a photo of a badly injured girl — ostensibly from Kashmir.
The official Twitter account of the Pakistani mission to the UN also tweeted the photo, and at the time of writing this article, it was the pinned tweet.
However, the photo in question was taken by award-winning photographer Heidi Levine inside the Gaza strip in 2014, and the girl had been injured in an Israeli air strike. The photo had been featured in many photo galleries posted online, including by the New York Times and the Guardian.
The picture used by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN was reported by a number of media outlets as that of Rawia Abu Joma’a, a 17-year-old girl injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza city in 2014.
Earlier on Saturday, Swaraj had said India has risen despite being the principal destination of Pakistan’s nefarious export of terrorism.
“India has risen despite being the principal destination of Pakistan’s nefarious export of terrorism. There have been many governments under many parties during 70 years of Indian freedom, for we have been a sustained democracy. Every government has done its bit for India’s development. We have marched ahead consistently without pause, in education, health and across the range of human welfare. We established scientific and technical institutions which are the pride of the world,” Swaraj said while addressing the 72nd UNGA session in New York.
She also questioned as to what has Pakistan offered to the world and to its own people apart from terrorism.
In a stinging response to Pakistan at the UNGA, she said that India is completely engaged in fighting poverty, whereas Islamabad seems engaged in fighting New Delhi.