Pakistan says airstrike on India in 2019 was a ‘false flag’ operation by India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata (BJP) party for electoral gains and urged the world community to end the “reckless militarist agenda” of its longtime rival.
In a series of tweets on Monday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said India’s “fascist” government led by his counterpart Narendra Modi “used the Balakot crisis for national electoral gains”, referring to the Indian raid on the city. from northwest Pakistan on February 26. 2019.
In 2019, I spoke to the UNGA about how India’s fascist Modi government used the Balakot crisis for national electoral gains. Latest communication revelations from Indian journalist known for hawkishness reveal unholy link between Modi government and Indian media
– Imran Khan (mImranKhanPTI) January 18, 2021
Khan’s tweets followed the publication of hundreds of pages of transcripts of WhatsApp discussions between prominent right-wing Indian TV presenter Arnab Goswami and Partho Dasgupta, the incarcerated head of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) rating firm ).
The discussions, published as evidence submitted by police in the city of Mumbai as part of an ongoing investigation into the manipulation of TV ratings, suggest that Republic TV co-owner and host Goswami knew in advance of New Delhi’s plan to attack Balakot in the Khyber region of Pakistan. Pakhtunkhwa Province.
India’s “surgical strike”, which it said targeted a training camp for Kashmiri rebels in Balakot, was carried out to avenge the killings of 40 Indian soldiers in the Pulwama region of Indian-administered Kashmir in India. Beginning of the month.
India has blamed Pakistan-backed Kashmiri rebels for the February 14 attack on its military convoy, an allegation Islamabad denied.
The day after the Balakot attack, the Pakistani Air Force shot down two Indian planes and arrested an Indian Air Force pilot, who was later released by Islamabad as a “gesture of goodwill.” will”.
Since their independence from British rule in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars in Kashmir – a Himalayan region shared between them but claimed by the two nuclear powers in its entirety.
According to the transcript of the WhatsApp chat, published in a report on the Scroll.in news site, Goswami texted Dasgupta on February 23, 2019, three days before the Balakot attack, saying “something big is going on. happen”.
Partho Dasgupta: “Good”
Partho Dasgupta: “It’s good for the big man this season”
Partho Dasgupta: “He will then sweep the polls”
Partho Dasgupta: “Strike? Or bigger “
Arnab Goswami: “Bigger than a normal strike. And at the same time something major about Kashmir. In Pakistan, the government is convinced that it is striking in a way that will please the people. Exact words used. “
Pakistani Prime Minister Khan said on Monday that the latest revelations from the WhatsApp chat “reveal the dirty link” between the Indian government and its media “which is pushing our nuclear region to the brink of conflict it cannot afford”.
“The latest communication revelations from an Indian journalist, known for his hawkishness, reveal the unholy link between Modi’s government and the Indian media which led to dangerous military adventurism to win an election in total disregard of the consequences of the destabilization of the whole region, ”Khan tweeted on Monday.
Khan said Pakistan “avoided a wider crisis through a responsible and measured response to Balakot. Yet Modi’s government continues to turn India into a rogue state.
There has not yet been a response from New Delhi.
On Sunday, a similar statement from Pakistan’s foreign ministry said India “claims to have launched [the] so-called surgical strike, then slyly manipulates national sentiment in its attempt to win elections’ in 2019.
In that year’s general election, the “surgical strike” was one of the main cornerstones of the ruling BJP in India, helping the Hindu Nationalist Party win a larger majority than in 2014.
“We initially rejected India’s malicious propaganda against Pakistan and pointed out that the biggest beneficiary of the Pulwama attack was the BJP government, which won a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections which follow-up, ”Pakistan’s foreign ministry said. adding that he would continue to counter “India’s lies with the truth and to act firmly and responsibly in the face of India’s provocations.”
“The pattern is undeniable and has been repeated to fit the electoral calculations of the RSS-BJP regime,” the ministry said, referring to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the BJP who aims to create an ethnic Hindu state in India. .
The statement referred to a November 2020 report released by an independent group based in Europe, EU Disinfo Lab, which exposed a 15-year campaign to “denigrate” the Pakistan and Kashmir movement in international forums, broadcasting a campaign of disinformation targeting the European Union and the United Nations with more than 750 fake local media and more than 10 non-governmental organizations.
He said Goswami’s transcripts “further exposed India’s sinister designs and justified Pakistan’s long-standing position.”
#RepublicVsPakistan | Official statement by the Republic Media Network in response to the statement by the Pakistani Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs pic.twitter.com/SAWxijHiF9
– Republic (@republic) January 17, 2021
In response, India’s Republic Media Network released a statement on Sunday rejecting “Pakistani government’s allegations against Arnab Goswami.”
“The Pakistani government’s statement against the main Indian news network – the Republic Media Network is proof of the deep conspiracy of anti-Indian and anti-national forces” against the network and its editor-in-chief Goswami, he said. he declares.
He said that Goswami, during his long career as a journalist, had “exposed all the sinister designs and bad intentions of the Pakistani government”, claiming to be the first network “to denounce Pakistan after the Pulwama attack”.