An Indian Border Security Forces soldier patrols near the fenced border with Pakistan.
(photo credit: MUKESH GUPTA / REUTERS)
Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Maleeha Lodhi made a glaring error at the United Nations on Sunday. She held up a photograph of a severely injured young woman, claiming that she was a Kashmiri victim of Indian atrocities.
The two nations have been embroiled in a conflict over the region of Kashmir since India and Pakistan gained independence from Britain in 1947. Since then, three wars have been fought in addition to clashes and border skirmishes.
The young woman in question, however, is actually a Gazan citizen, reportedly injured by Israeli air raids in 2014. The photo was taken by award-winning photojournalist Heidi Levine in a hospital in Gaza, of then 17-year-old Rawya abu Jom'a.
Lodhi made the goof in the midst of a war of words between India and Pakistan at the UN General Assembly this week.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday, accusing India of brutality against the Kashmiri people. He called for the UN to appoint a special enjoy for the region.
"Pakistan demands an international investigation into India’s crimes in Kashmir," he said. "We ask that the United Nations Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights send an inquiry Commission to occupied Kashmir to verify the nature and extent of India’s human rights violations, secure the punishment of those responsible and provide justice and relief to the victims."
Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj fired back in her speech to the body.
"India and Pakistan became free within hours of each other. Why is it that today, India is a recognized IT superpower in the world, and Pakistan is recognized only as the preeminent export factory for terror?" She asked.
Dr. Maleeha Lodhi was exercising her "Right of Reply" following India's accusations. "India's brutal occupation of Kashmir has killed over 100,000 innocent Kashmiris. Today, that campaign of brutality continues, including the shooting and blinding of innocent Kashmiri children with pellet guns. Yet, every day, these Kashmiri children, women and youth come out on the streets to demand that India get out of occupied Kashmir."
She held up the photograph and said, "This is the face of democracy."
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