Making up story to discredit me, India: Shobhaa De 

Shobhaa De. DH file photo

Responding to allegations made by former Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit, that he influenced Shobhaa De's writings on Kashmir, the columnist has called his statements "dangerous, malicious".

De said she is a patriotic Indian and feels "deeply insulted" by the claims made by Basit, who was appointed as Pakistan's High Commissioner to India in 2014 and served in the post for four years.

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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