Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, was left red-faced on Sunday after she committed an embarrassing gaffe by labelling a picture taken from Gaza as the “face of Indian democracy”. Lodhi was attempting to counter India at the UN General Assembly, a day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj branded Pakistan as “pre-eminent export factory for terror”.
While exercising her right to reply, Lodhi flashed a picture of an injured Gaza woman whose face was peppered with alleged pellet gun wounds. “This is the face of Indian democracy,” Lodhi claimed, alleging that the woman shown in the picture was a victim of pellet guns in Kashmir.
However, the picture Lodhi displayed at the UN was of 17-year-old Rawya abu Joma’a of Gaza, who was injured when two Israeli air strikes pummelled her family’s apartment in Gaza in 2014. The picture, taken by award-winning American photo journalist Heidi Levine, is available on multiple news websites.
Lodhi, who is generally active on social media, has remained silent since it emerged that she posed a fake picture during her right of reply at the UN General Assembly.
On Saturday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in her speech at the United Nations General Assembly, launched a stinging attack on Pakistan for creating terrorist outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Haqqani Network. “We (India) produced scholars, doctors, engineers. What have you produced? You have produced terrorists,” Swaraj said in her speech in Hindi. “Doctors save people from death; terrorists send them to death… We produced IITs, IIMs, AIIMS and space reserach centre, you produced Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Haqqani Network and Hizbul Mujahideen.”
(With inputs from Agencies)