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Friday, March 31, 2023

No evidence: India speaks vaguely to avoid embarrassment?

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News Analysis |

Indian Army Chief, Chief of Indian Air Force, and Chief of Naval command held a press conference on Thursday and explained the ongoing situation before the nation.

Admitting the fact DG ISPR Maj General Asif Ghafoor had already stated way before Indians, Air Vice-Marshal R.G.K. Kapoor said, “Although PAF bombs have fallen in the army formation compounds, however, they were unable to cause any damage to our military installations.”

DG ISPR, during his press conference on Feb 27, had said that PAF intentionally did not target the military installations in India and the act was not intended to cause any causalities but to tell India that Pakistan is capable, has the resolve and will to retaliate but not at the peril of regional peace.

“Indian media declares that 1986 Sharjah Cup final was actually won by India. Miandad’s last ball 6 was caught at the boundary by then 13-yr-old Arnab Goswami who just happened to be flying there in an IAF Mig.”

When asked about the damage assessment and “approximate number of  alleged causalities” Indian Aircraft caused to Pakistan, Kapoor, unable to give any number said, “There is fairly credible evidence with us which proves that there was damage to the [JeM] camp, we hit the target and caused the damage that was intended. However, it will be premature to say the number of casualties we were able to inflict.”

When asked if India could target the exact camp, Kapoor vaguely responded, “We have destroyed what we intended to.” Kapoor bragged that electronic signals immediately caught the signals when the PAF jets entered Indian airspace. A journalist asked which Pakistani mirage had entered the Indian space, he answered, “That I can’t say. “

To most of the questions, the tri-service chiefs were unable to answer the journalists and said: “evidence was awaited”. A journalist when asked about Pakistan’s peace offer and de-escalation measures, the answer was,” it was up to political leadership to decide. The brief ambiguous press conference with no evidence was more about formality less about “informing the nation”.

Read more: Has PM Modi given a free hand to Armed Forces?

Later on, in a Talk-Show Indian anchor showed a picture, supposedly of the PAF aircraft piece to the guest, an expert and asked him to further explain the story. However, contrary to the expectation of the host, the guest declined to admit if the picture shown to him was in reality of F-16.

Ajmal Jami, a prominent Pakistani journalist, posted the video and took a jibe at the host. “Hey @rahulkanwal ! Abhijeet kay hath mein kis company ka mobile phone hey?” (Which company’s cell phone does Abhijeet have in his hand?)

Pakistan’s prominent journalist Fahd Hussain who has already expressed his surprise over the role of media once again spoke up. This time Fahd was completely disappointed and used strong language to bash Indian media. “I am shocked. Indian media played a shameful role. I am disgusted with Indian media. If there is one villain in this whole episode then it is the Indian media. It is the Indian media which forced its government to go at war,” Fahd lamented in a talk-show.

Fahd has already said that Indian media did not ask some important questions from its government to probe into Pulwama incident. He grilled India media for being too irresponsible in the matters of war. As a matter of fact, during the press conference of three Indian chiefs, nobody put any important question before them to objectively look into what is going on at the moment.

Read more: Post-Pulwama attack: Challenges and available options

Interestingly, critic of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Nadeem F. Paracha also unhappy over the role of Indian media and posted a satirical tweet. “Indian media declares that 1986 Sharjah Cup final was actually won by India. Miandad’s last ball 6 was caught at the boundary by then 13-yr-old Arnab Goswami who just happened to be flying there in an IAF Mig.”

Similarly, Mansoor Ali Khan also said something like what Fahd Husain has said. “It is, without doubt, the only conclusion that comes to mind. Indian media is the only reason we have unrest & hostility in the sub-continent. They push their politicians to war, provoke their public to hate Pakistan and they’re the biggest hurdle to peace in the region today”

Experts in Pakistan believe that Indian media has been playing a crucial role in escalating the tension between Pakistan and India. At the same time, it is also maintained that Indian media deliberately avoided asking tough questions from Indian establishment not to embarrass them. This has brought two nuclear states at the brink of war.