ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhary Fawad Hussain on Wednesday rejected Indian media reports of Pakistan’s aid to Taliban forces during their recent offensive in the Panjshir valley.
On Monday, several independent journalists from various corners of the world ridiculed India for spreading lies through fake claims on social media about Pakistan’s involvement in the Panjshir offensive.
Talking to BBC World News, he said that Indian media used a video game to demonstrate that Pakistan was helping the attack on Panjshir and termed the reports a ‘pack of lies’.
“These are fairytales crafted by Indian media”, he said when asked about the protests in Kabul which denounced Pakistan.
“Actions attributed to Pakistan by Indian media are inspired by their film industry, and their talk shows create these stories. This is how marketing agencies work in India”, Fawad claimed.
Answering a question about the visit of the country’s spy chief to Kabul, the minister said that in the absence of a formal government in Kabul, intelligence networks want to create an informal framework to discuss impending issues. The minister cited examples of the CIA chief and Turkish and Qatari intelligence officials also visiting Kabul. “Our engagement with the Taliban enabled the US-Taliban negotiations and helped in the evacuation of thousands of people from Kabul”, Fawad said, adding that the international community had shown appreciation for Pakistan’s engagement with the Taliban.
According to him if Pakistan’s advice had been heeded, Afghanistan would be much more stable. He further said that Pakistan suffered the most due to the Afghan conflict. “We suffered 80,000 casualties and a loss of $150 billion”, he stated.
Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security Dr Moeed Yusuf said the world would pay a heavy price if it continued to ignore India’s destabilizing policies, and the consequences would go well beyond the region. Taking to his official Twitter handle, Moeed slammed the Indian media for orchestrating fake news against Pakistan. “It is not a surprise that Modi’s fascist regime’s fake news industry has been caught peddling lies yet again”, he wrote.
He also shared screenshots of foreign news agencies in his tweet which debunked the broadcast by Indian news channel Times Now that had claimed Pakistan was invading Afghanistan. The actual clip was of a US F-15 aircraft in Wales.
“The fake news industry, set up and patronized by Govt of India, was one critical reason for the world being duped into blaming Pakistan rather than looking at internal failures in Afghanistan and India’s role in perpetrating terrorism in Pakistan”, he further said.
Even the saner elements in India slammed their media outlets and termed them clowns for using a video game video and portraying it as real-time footage of a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jet flying over Panjshir.
India’s Republic TV and Zee Hindustan aired footage from the video game Arma 3 and claimed that the visuals showed the PAF attacking the anti-Taliban fighters in the Panjshir valley.
The embarrassing impropriety was pointed out by the fact-check website Boom.
Additionally, Indian news channel Times Now broadcast a clip that it claimed showed a Pakistani fighter jet flying through Panjshir, terming it proof of a “full-fledged Pakistani invasion” of Afghanistan. Defence platform UK Defence Journal debunked the claim, saying that it was an American F-15 jet flying in Wales.