India hit out at Pakistan on Monday saying it has callously exploited the picture of an injured Palestinian girl to spread falsehoods about India and divert attention from Islamabad's role as the hub of world terrorism.
Paulomi Tripathi, a First Secretary in India's UN Mission, held up the photograph of the body of Lt. Umar Faiyaz, a young soldier from the Indian state of Kashmir who was tortured and killed by Pakistan-backed terrorists, surrounded by mourners, and a picture of Pakistan's Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi displaying the picture of the Palestinian girl claiming she was Kashmiri.
Tripathi told the Assembly the photograph of Faiyaz "is a true picture" and it "reflects the real pain inflicted by the nefarious designs of Pakistan on India," contrasting it with the fake picture used by Lodhi on Saturday while reacting to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
The picture of the injured girl that Lodhi displayed was that of Rawya Abu Jom'a taken in July 2014 and published by The New York Times in March 2015 under the caption, "Conflict, Courage and Healing in Gaza," Tripathi pointed out.
Caught using a fake picture, a Pakistani diplomat made the bizarre statement that "backing up debates with pictures has backfired" on India while responding to Tripathi.
Tipu Usman, a Counsellor at the Pakistani Mission, told the Assembly, "India is seeking to hide behind a picture."
Asked at his daily briefing if the President of the General Assembly (PGA), Miroslav Lajcak could do anything about fake pictures being used at the Assembly as was done by Lodhi, his spokesperson Brian Varma said, "I don't think the PGA has a role, but I will look into it."
Tripathi help up both pictures and directed attention to the photograph of the Indian soldier and said, "This is a real picture and not a fake picture of Lt. Umar Faiyaz. A young officer from the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, Umar Fiayz was kidnapped at a wedding reception. He was brutally tortured and killed by Pakistan-supported terrorists in May 2017."
"This is a true picture," she said. "It portrays a harsh reality. A picture of terror emanating from across our borders that the people of India, especially in the Jammu and Kashmir have to struggle with everyday."
"This was the reality that the Permanent Representative of Pakistan sought to obfuscate," Tripathi said.
Lodhi "yet again sought to divert attention from Pakistan's role as the hub of global terrorism," Tripathi said. "She did so by callously holding up a picture of an injured girl" from Gaza.
"The Permanent Representative of Pakistan misled the Assembly by displaying this picture to spread falsehood about India," Tripathi added. "A fake picture to push a completely false narrative."
(Arul Louis can be reached at email@example.com)