Matter of diplomacy, but will think about dealing with fake photos: UNGA president on gaffe by Pakistan

Pakistan used a photo to portray an injured Gaza girl as a Kashmiri pellet gun victim at the United Nations.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Sep 27, 2017, 20:28 PM IST
Matter of diplomacy, but will think about dealing with fake photos: UNGA president on gaffe by Pakistan
Pic Courtesy: @UN_PGA

United Nations: Days after Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the UN used a photo to portray an injured Gaza girl as a Kashmiri pellet gun victim, United Nations General Assembly president Miroslav Lajcak has said that he will look into how to deal with the use of erroneous pictures.

In a major goof-up, Maleeha Lodhi on Sunday had flashed a picture of an injured Gaza girl with no connection to India while alleging that she was a victim of pellet guns in Kashmir.

Exercising her right to reply, hours after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj blasted Pakistan for its support to terrorism, the Pakistani envoy had held up a photograph of a woman whose face was peppered with alleged pellet gun wounds.

"This is the face of Indian democracy," Lodhi had claimed.

The picture of 17-year-old Rawya abu Joma from Palestine, an alleged victim of an Israeli attack, was actually taken by award-winning American photo-journalist Heidi Levine in July, 2014.

When asked if he would like to set some sort of factual baseline when people make use of a wrong photograph, Lajcak said, "I will certainly think about it".

At the same time, he said it was a matter of diplomacy.

"It is not for me to answer. It's for the delegations that are involved. I want to use but not misuse my position as president of the general assembly," he said.

Meanwhile, India on Monday had countered Pakistan and had said that the neighbouring country had tried to mislead the UNGA by displaying a fake picture to spread falsehood.

Exercising the right to reply, India's representative Paulomi Tripathi had said, "Permanent representative of Pakistan (Maleeha Lodhi) in her statement sought to divert attention from their role as the hub of global terrorism. She did so by callously holding up a picture if an injured girl. It was the photo of Rawya abu Joma from Palestine."

"Pakistan mislead Assembly by displaying the picture to spread falsehoods about India, fake picture to push a false narrative. We are constrained to show a photo that reflects real picture of pain inflicted by nefarious designs of Pakistan on India," she had added.

Showing the photo of the young Kashmiri Army officer who was killed by militants, Tripathi had said, "We are constrained to show a photo that reflects real picture of pain inflicted by nefarious designs of Pakistan on India. This is a real picture, of Lt Ummer Fayaz, a young officer from J&K. He was brutally tortured and killed by Pakistan-supported terrorists."

"This is the reality that the permanent representative of Pakistan sought to obfuscate," she had pointed out.

(With PTI inputs)