NEW DELHI: Denying former Pakistan envoy to India Abdul Basit’s claim that he had influenced Shobhaa De to write an article on Kashmir in 2016, De called Basit’s statement deeply insulting.
The author who renowned as ‘Jackie Collins of India’, said that she is a patriotic Indian and the statement made by Basit was “dangerous and malicious”.
Abdul Basit who was appointed as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India in 2014, claimed in a video surfaced on Twitter that in 2016 after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen activist Burhan Wani there was an economic blockade in Jammu and Kashmir but none of the mainland journalist covered it.
Basit said that it was difficult for him to convince an Indian journalist to write on Kashmir’s “self-determination”, then he met Shobhaa De and she agreed to write on it following his words.
Thereafter she wrote an article titled, “Burhan Wani is dead but he'll live on till we find out what Kashmir really wants” which advocated plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, said Basit.
Responding to Basit, Shobhaa De said that she met Basit only once and that was on 2019 during the Jaipur Literature Festival. At that the former Pakistan envoy came to her for a conversation at a “publishing party” but she didn’t bothered.
“My only meeting was with him on a publishing party during the 2019 Jaipur literature festival, then he was imposing himself and intruded into a small group. He attempted a conversation but I was snubbed and almost as good as asked to leave,” said De.
“The meeting longed only for three minutes and within that time he had tried to bring various issues but the only issue that actually chased him away was China. That was the first and last ever encounter with that man,” added Shobhaa De
It was in Pakistani Blogger Farhan Virk’s Interview, Basit claimed that he influenced a “prominent” columnist Shobhaa De to write an article on Jammu and Kashmir plebiscite.
Calling the statement “dangerous, malicious, and unfair to anybody who believes in the truth,'' De said that she was deeply insulted and upset on his dare to tell about a journalist who has built her career on credibility and positive good journalism for over 40 years.