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At UN, Pak Envoy Tries To Pass Off Gaza Teen As Kashmir Girl

New Delhi:  The photo of a girl — her face bearing multiple bruises — which Pakistan’s Maleeha Lodhi brandished at the United Nations last evening as an example of “Indian brutality” in Kashmir turns out to be of a resident of Palestine. The photograph was clicked in Gaza in 2014 by award winning photographer Heidi Levine. The girl — Rawya Abu Joma, who was then 17 years old –had been injured during an Israeli airstrike, the original caption with the photograph said. The photo has been carried by many online photo galleries — including New York Times and the Guardian.

The gaffe by Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN came while she was responding to foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s scathing attack on Pakistan. Waving around a close-up shot of the teen’s face, Ms Lodhi said in her “vitriol” Ms Swaraj had “deliberately ignored the core issue” of Kashmir.

India did not immediately exercise its right to response to Ms Lodhi’s remarks.

Earlier in the evening, Ms Swaraj had ripped apart Pakistan in a 21-minute speech, in which she had stressed on how the neighbouring country was exporting terror which India was building the nation through institutions and knowledge bank.

“We have marched ahead consistently without pause creating IIMs, IITs, AIIMS and in the fields of education, health, space and across the range of human welfare. We established scientific and technical institutions which are the pride of the world,” Ms Swaraj said.

Pakistan, in contrast, has only “produced terrorists and terrorist  camps… Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hijbul Mujahideen, Haqqani Network,”  she added.

Referring to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi’s speech, Ms Swaraj said, “A country that has been the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity and Human Rights from this podium.”