Islamabad: Mehr Tarar, the Pakistani journalist who became a known face in India after the death of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar, says everything has changed after January 17, 2014.
Pushkar, who married Tharoor in 2010, was found dead under mysterious circumstances inside a room at the Leela Palace Hotel in Delhi on January 17, 2014. Police registered a murder case on January 1, 2015.
Prior to her death, Pushkar was embroiled in a spat with Pakistani journalist Tarar, whom she accused of stalking her husband.
In a conversation with Millennium Post, the Pakistani author said it was “unfortunate” that this was the reason why people remembered her.
Tara, speaking ahead of the release of her book ‘Leaves from Lahore’, said: “It is unfortunate that this is how I am known to people. As far as my personal life is concerned, everything has changed after that. Yes, people got to know me because of that incident, but after that too I kept writing.”
“It is not that I am invited to television shows to speak only on that subject. Other than maybe once a year, for example, when the investigations began in January, I was called (on a show) to explain my point of view. I have always been here (Pakistan) and that has been happening in India. Because of that curiosity people want to know who am I, and when they read my book, they will be pleasantly surprised.”
The Pakistani columnist, howeve, added that the controversy worked in her favour. “But I made sure at that I was quiet on it. I never spoke or wrote about it. Someone even asked me to write a book on it, which I refused.”
She also said that the flak she faced after Sunanda Pushkar's death was “painful”. “Right now, it has become infrequent. A woman (Sunanda Pushkar) starts tweeting to me and then calls me an ISI agent, talks about my character, accuses me of being a hacker and other things,” she added.
“She kept saying all these things and after two days she dies, it was the most surreal, bizarre and unfortunate thing that could have ever happened. Incidentally, people started connecting the two things. In fact, the problems between a husband and a wife are bigger. I don’t think that could cause any wife such heartache that she would do something to herself.”
Tarar added: “I say it is the most surreal thing because I have never met her and don’t know who she was. Even now, when they are talked about, my name is mentioned. Because of the curiosity the incident generated, people started reading my work and realised what my writing is all about.”
Tarar's book is being published by Har Anand Publications and is scheduled to be released in November in Lahore.