Former Pakistan high commissioner to India Abdul Basit claims it became challenging for him to convince any Indian journalist to write an article in favour of Kashmir's "self-determination" until he met De who "agreed" and, in one of her columns wrote, "Now the time has come to resolve this issue once and for all through a plebiscite".
Mumbai: Popular columnist Shobhaa De has refuted allegations made by made by former Pakistan high commissioner to India Abdul Basit. The former envoy, who was appointed as Pakistan's high commissioner to India in 2014 and served in the post for four years had claimed that he influenced Shobhaa De's writings on Kashmir.
Calling the statement made by Basit "dangerous, malicious," De said she is a patriotic Indian and feels "deeply insulted" by the claims made by him.
In a video interview which surfaced on Twitter, Basit claims that after the July 2016 death of Burhan Wani, a Hizbul Mujahideen commander, pellet guns were used on protesters and there was an economic blockade which none of the mainland journalists were writing about.
Basit claims it became challenging for him to convince any Indian journalist to write an article in favour of Kashmir's "self-determination" until he met De who "agreed" and, in one of her columns wrote, "Now the time has come to resolve this issue once and for all through a plebiscite".
Reacting to the ex-envoy's sensational claims, De, in a video on Twitter, said normally she would've let this comment go without bothering to react "but it's very important to nail lies."
"Especially when it comes from a despicable man who is making up a story to discredit not just me but India as well," she said.
The author-columnist said Basit came and "imposed himself and intruded in a small room" in January this year at the Jaipur LitFest at a publishing party, which was the first and last time she met him.
"He came and joined a small group, attempted a conversation, was snubbed and was almost as good as asked to leave. In those three minutes he tried to bring in various issues. But the only issue which chased him away was when we mentioned China and that's the last we saw of him. "That's the first and last time I ever encountered this man. What he is referring to is a column written in 2016.
"I'd like to place it on record, that what he's doing is dangerous, malicious and it's absolutely unfair to anybody who believes in the truth as we all do," she said.
De said she's a proud, patriotic Indian and feels "deeply insulted and upset that he could dare to say something like that about a person who has built a career on credibility and good journalism for over 40 years."
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Last Updated 13, Aug 2019, 12:34 PM