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Pak tries to pass off Palestinian as victim of Kashmir unrest

NEW DELHI: The photo of a girl – her face bearing multiple bruises – which Pakistan's Maleeha Lodhi brandished at the United Nations on Saturday evening as an example of "Indian brutality" in Kashmir turns out to be 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, Lodhi said in her "vitriol" Swaraj had "deliberately ignored the core issue" of Kashmir. Pakistan on Sunday accused India of adopting a posture of that of a "predator" and said if the international community wishes to avoid a dangerous escalation between the two neighbours, it must call on New Delhi to halt its provocations and aggressive actions. Terming India as the "mother of terrorism" in South Asia, Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi accused it of sponsoring terrorism in various parts of her country. India did not immediately exercise its right to respond.

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