New Delhi: Columnist Shobhaa De on Monday rubbished the claims made by former Pakistan envoy to India Abdul Basit that he had influenced her to write the 2016 article where she “advocated plebiscite” in Kashmir in the aftermath of Burhan Wani’s death.
Speaking to ANI, De said that the only time she ever met Basit was during the Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2019, when the former envoy attempted to make a conversation at a “publishing party” but was “almost as good as asked to leave”.
“The only time I met him, or rather he came and imposed himself and intruded into a small group was in January of this year at the Jaipur lit fest at a publishing party. He came and joined a small group, attempted a conversation, was snubbed and almost as good as asked to leave,” said De.
“In those three minutes, yes, he tried to bring in various issues but the only issue that actually chased him away was China. That was the first and last time I ever encountered this man,” she added.
— ANI (@ANI) 12 August 2019
In an interview with a Pakistani blogger Farhan Virk, Basit had said that he had managed to influence “prominent” columnist Shobhaa De to write the 2016 article titled “Burhan Wani is dead but he’ll live on till we find out what Kashmir really wants”.
De called Basit’s statement “dangerous, malicious, and unfair to anybody who believes in the truth”, adding that she is “deeply insulted and upset that he could dare to say something like that about a person who has built her career on credibility and positive good journalism for over 40 years.”