Saturday Nov 09, 2019
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday slammed Indian journalist Burkha Dutt for defending Prime Minister Narendra Modi and her nationalist line of questioning.
In a tweet, Dutt shared a video in which she claimed that FM Qureshi by "insulting the Indian prime minister he was insulting the Indian delegation present" in Pakistan.
The encounter took place in Lahore, when the foreign minister visited the Governor House where a dinner was being hosted for visiting Indian journalists.
To this, the minister shrugged off Dutt’s claim saying “Not at all, not at all, you’re welcome, I am welcoming you.”
Dutt, despite getting a strong rebuke continued her nationalist line of questions, asking, “Why this personal slurs about the [Indian] prime minister?”
Qureshi reminded the Indian journalist that he never issued any personal slur but was talking about the Indian prime minister’s attitude.
Dutt adopted the nationalist line of questioning when the foreign minister in the beginning of the video had told the Indian journalist that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bigotry and narrow mindedness destroyed the spirit of Kartarpur.
The Indian journalist went on to say that the foreign minister had insulted the Indian PM, which was strongly rejected by Qureshi. He clarified that he was never insulting the Indian premier.
Other Indian journalists had also asked Pakistan’s top diplomat about the claims that Pakistan was promoting the Khalistan movement.
In a video, one journalist had alleged that Pakistan was promoting elements of the movement and talking about Khalistan on Kartarpur’s opening.
The minister reminded the journalist that no one was talking about the issue and also slammed them for calling him out for raising the Kashmir dispute.
Twitter users also backed Qureshi for strongly rebuking Dutt, who said that she was being a Modi apologist and acting as the spokesperson of Indian premier Modi.
Senior journalist Talat Aslam, tweeted, saying: “Nothing to see here. Barkha Dutt being the typical hypernationalist Modi apologist disguised as a centrist once again...”
While, Amnesty's Deputy Director for South Asia Omar Warriach was also confused with Dutt’s line of questioning.
Warriach said, “I’m confused. How does criticising a PM constitute an insult towards all citizens? If Angela Merkel insults Trump, would she be insulting all Americans? I imagine many Americans would cheer Merkel on.”
As evidence Warraich also attached a Bloomberg article in which Merkel called out US president Donald Trump on his politics of lies.
When a Twitter user backed Dutt’s claim, Warraich reminded him that the Indian delegation wasn’t of government officials but it included citizens visiting Kartarpur.
Human rights activist Ali Dayan Hassan tweeted also backed the foreign minister’s response and said that Dutt was being the spokesperson for the Indian premier rather than being a journalist.
He tweeted: “Exhibit 4445 of @BDUTT engaging in faux nationalism & donning the mantle of spokesperson for Modi rather than being a journalist. Kudos to @SMQureshiPTI for calling Modi out for the bigoted warmonger he is.”
He advised Dutt to be more professional and not to abuse the country’s hospitality.