Author and columnist Shobhaa De on Monday refuted former Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit’s claim that in 2016 he had influenced one of her articles on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute that had asked for a plebiscite to resolve the crisis. The article was written after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

De called Basit’s statement “dangerous, malicious, and unfair to anybody who believes in the truth”, ANI reported.

On August 11, in an interview to Pakistani blogger Farhan Virk, Basit had claimed it was a challenge for him to convince an Indian journalist to write an article in favour of Kashmir’s “self-determination”. He alleged that he had managed to convince De, who “agreed” and in one of her columns wrote: “Now the time has come to resolve this issue once and for all through a plebiscite.”

The article, titled “Burhan Wani is dead but he’ll live on till we find out what Kashmir really wants”, was published in The Times of India.

Basit claimed that after Wani’s death, pellet guns were used on protestors and there was an economic blockade that no Indian journalist was writing about.

De responded that “it was very important to nail lies” as she would otherwise not react to such comments. “Especially when it comes from a despicable man who is making up a story to discredit not just me but India as well,” she said in a video.

“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 [literature festival] at a publishing party,” the columnist claimed. “He came and joined a small group, attempted a conversation, was snubbed and almost as good as asked to leave.”

She said that during those three minutes he tried to bring in “various issues” but was chased away when the matter of China came up. “That was the first and last time I ever encountered this man,” De added.

“I would like to place it on record that what he’s doing is dangerous, malicious and it’s absolutely unfair to anybody who believes in the truth as we all do,” she added.

De said she was a proud and patriotic Indian who was “deeply insulted and upset that he [Basit] 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.”

Basit was appointed Pakistan’s high commissioner to India in 2014 and remained in the post for four years.