External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s social media popularity is due to her promptness in handling distress calls addressed to her, often by Indians who are stuck in difficult situations, overseas.
However, when a student from Jammu and Kashmir with “Indian occupied Kashmir” set as his Twitter location reached out to Swaraj, things were about to stall for a bit.
Sheikh Ateeq, who is currently residing in the Philippines and goes by the Twitter handle @SAteEQ019, requested the minister to assist him with his passport as he wanted to go back to his “home” citing health issues.
“I m from j&k doing medicine course here in Philippines my passport got damaged i applied for new one 1 month ago i request u plz help me get it as i literally need to go home for medical check up (sic),” he said in a tweet tagging Swaraj.
“Schooling” him over political geography, Swaraj later reminded him that his profile’s location says that he is from “Indian occupied Kashmir,” and no such place exists.
“If you are from J&K state, we will definitely help you. But your profile says you are from ‘Indian occupied Kashmir’. There is no place like that,” she tweeted.
After getting a response from Swaraj, Ateeq quickly changed his location. Swaraj soon took notice of it and directed the authorities to help him. “I am happy that you have corrected the profile. Jaideep – He is an Indian national from J&K. Pls, help him,” Swaraj tweeted.
Earlier last week, Ateeq had reached out to the Minister to help him with his passport.
“Dear ma’am @SushmaSwaraj I greatly need your help. Is there anything u can do to rush the process of my passport as it is damaged. I need to get back to my home, India. My health is detereorating and I cannot shoulder the expenses any more as I’m a student (sic),” he said in a tweet he wrote on 5 April.
After receiving the response from Swaraj, he has now deleted his Twitter profile.