After video goes viral, Pakistani reporter explains why she slapped boy on camera

By Tasso Konia
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Maira Hashmi, the Pakistani reporter whose video of slapping a boy on camera went viral, has now given an explanation for her actions. According to initial reports, the boy was heckling the reporters. However, 24-year-old journalist Maira Hashmi, who was reporting the Eid al-Adha celebrations in Pakistan on July 9, has now told her side of the story on Twitter.

In a tweet in Urdu, she explained that it was not her, but rather the family she was interviewing who was being harassed by the boy. Hashmi even politely asked him to stop, but the boy went on with the heckling. Hence, Hashmi decided to put an end to his actions and slapped him.

“This guy was harassing the family during the interview - which made the family upset. I made sure his action wouldn’t be tolerated by giving him an opportunity,” the caption reads when translated loosely.

When the video went viral, Twitter was split. While some social media users supported the journalist, stating that the boy must have misbehaved, others said that her actions were unnecessary.

She received both applause and criticism after explaining herself this time. Several users wrote "Well done" and "Good work" with thumbs-up emojis in support of Maira Hashmi, while others claimed it was unprofessional on her part.

“You did the right thing. Ignore the preachers around. Ye loug sirf social media py lecture dy skty judge kr skty hain. Ground situation mein jo hota hai wohi understand krta hai (These people just preach and judge others. Things like this do happen in on-ground situations at times),” tweeted a user.

Sidhra Dhar, another verified Pakistani journalist, wrote in Urdu: "The reporter is not a social activist, but if the boy is being impolite to a family in front of her despite her warning...they may do something like this" (slapping). Even reporters face difficult situations from time to time. Should they put up with it? "I am with you; you will endure."

Others called her actions a 'publicity stunt,' adding, "She's lying. She uploaded this video on her own to gain attention. But she didn't post the part when the boy mocked a family (sic)."

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