The Indian Embassy in Kuwait on Friday criticised Congress leader Shashi Tharoor for retweeting what it said was an “anti-national” tweet by a “Pakistani agent”.

Their statement came after Tharoor had retweeted a tweet claiming that a group of “powerful Kuwaiti politicians” had urged their government to ban the entry of Bharatiya Janata Party leaders into Kuwait.

The tweet had alleged that the move by the Kuwaitis was in response to the ongoing row over the hijab ban in Karnataka. “We can’t sit back and watch Muslim girls being publicly persecuted they [Kuwaiti politicians] said,” the tweet claimed.

Groups of people in Karnataka have been agitating through the past month after Muslim students were not allowed to attend classes wearing hijabs. On February 5, the Karnataka government had passed an order banning clothes that “disturb equality, integrity and public order”.

On Friday, while retweeting, Tharoor had remarked that domestic actions have international repercussions.

“I hear from friends across the Gulf of their dismay at rising Islamophobia in India and the PM’s [Narendra Modi] unwillingness to condemn it, let alone act decisively against it,” Tharoor had claimed.

In response, the Indian Embassy in Kuwait had expressed displeasure over Tharoor’s tweet.

“Sad to see an Honourable Member of Indian Parliament retweeting an anti-India tweet by a Pakistani agent who was recipient of a Pakistani Award ‘Ambassador of Peace’ for his anti-India activities,” a tweet by the embassy’s official handle said. “We should not encourage such anti-India elements.”

In clarification, Tharoor said he was not endorsing any individual but was concerned about the sentiments conveyed in the tweet.

“While accepting the Indian Embassy in Kuwait’s view, I urge Government of India not to give ammo [sic] to such anti-India element by conducting misconduct here,” the Congress leader wrote.