Several days after Pakistani sports presenter Zainab Abbas departed India due to a complaint filed against her by an Indian lawyer regarding her past remarks considered “anti-Hindu,” she has issued an apology for those statements made years ago. Zainab Abbas, who was in India as a presenter for the ongoing ICC Men’s World Cup 2023, left the country on October 9, with the International Cricket Council (ICC) attributing her departure to “personal reasons.”
In her statement shared on X (formerly known as Twitter), Zainab expressed her gratitude for the opportunities to travel and present the sport she loves. She acknowledged that her time in India was filled with kind, cheerful interactions, just as she had anticipated. She clarified that she was neither asked to leave nor deported from India.
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) October 12, 2023
However, despite not facing any immediate safety threat, Zainab revealed that she felt intimidated and scared by the online reaction to her presence in India. She mentioned that her family and friends from both sides of the border were concerned, leading her to seek some space and time for reflection.
Zainab Abbas deeply regretted the hurt caused by the circulated posts and emphasized that they do not reflect her values or her current persona. She unequivocally apologized to anyone who was offended by those posts and expressed her gratitude to those who supported her during this challenging time.
Zainab was scheduled to cover multiple cricket fixtures in India but cut her trip short after a lawyer in New Delhi filed a police complaint against her due to her past tweets, resulting in a significant social media backlash.
In response to the situation, Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch criticized New Delhi for what she considered an “unnecessary” controversy that Zainab Abbas had been embroiled in. She asserted that the registration of the case was not the right course of action, and Zainab had been unjustifiably dragged into it. The spokesperson emphasized that as the host of the World Cup, it was the Indian state’s responsibility to provide security and create a favorable environment for the Pakistani cricket team.