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India's former permanent representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin (File photo)
India's former permanent representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin (File photo)

India's former UN envoy rejects NYT report over Pegasus says, insinuation about India's UN vote is 'utter rubbish'

ANI | Updated: Jan 30, 2022 18:12 IST


Washington [US], January 30 (ANI): Insinuation about India's UN vote is utter rubbish, said India's former permanent representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin rejecting a New York Times report that stated that in 2019, New Delhi voted in favour of Jerusalem after the purchase of Israeli spyware software Pegasus.
"The insinuation about India's UN vote is utter rubbish," said Akbaruddin -- who currently serves as Dean at Kautilya School of Public Policy -- on Saturday referring to the New York Times report which was published on Friday.
The NYT report stated that in July 2017, the Indian Prime Minister became the first head of state to visit Israel as for decades, India had maintained a policy of what it called "commitment to the Palestinian cause," and relations with Israel were frosty. The visit by the Indian Prime Minister, however, was notably cordial, complete with a carefully staged moment of him and then Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu walking together barefoot on a local beach. They had a reason for the warm feelings. Their countries had agreed on the sale of a package of sophisticated weapons and intelligence gear worth roughly USD 2 billion -- with Pegasus and a missile system as the centrepieces.
Months later, Netanyahu made a rare state visit to India. And in June 2019, India voted in support of Israel at the UN's Economic and Social Council to deny observer status to a Palestinian human rights organisation, a first for the nation, said the report.
The NYT said that the combination of Israel's search for influence and NSO's drive for profits has also led to the powerful spying tool's ending up in the hands of a new generation of nationalist leaders worldwide. Though the Israeli government's oversight was meant to prevent the powerful spyware from being used in repressive ways, Pegasus has been sold to Poland, Hungary and India, despite those countries' questionable records on human rights. (ANI)

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