Panjshir and Indian Propaganda

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Several Indian outlets and a few influential Indians have become a laughingstock for publishing fake news claiming that Pakistan has invaded Afghanistan to help Taliban to take control of Panjshir. It is pertinent to mention that this is not the first time it has happened in Indian media as they have a long history of creating fake news which have been refuted repeatedly. The starter of making fake news is India’s right-wing channel Republic TV, which on 6th September quoted exclusive footage from Hasti TV, an Afghan TV channel in the UK, saying that Pakistani air force attacked Panjshir valley in Afghanistan. The report claimed that the anti-Taliban National Resistance Front of Afghanistan spokesperson “had also been killed.” Afterwards, Times Now Navbharat, Zee Hindustan and other outlets also aired the footage, claiming that Pakistan had bombed Panjshir. Republic TV could not stop airing this clip with the headline “Exclusive Hasti TV” on screen. However, fact check website Boom soon found that the footage aired by Indian media is from the video game Arma-3. According to the media report, the anchor of India Today called this a “full-fledged Pakistani invasion” of Afghanistan. Additionally, former Indian Maj Gen Harsha Kakar became the butt of a joke on Twitter after he mistook a photo from a Pakistani military-themed film as showing Pakistani soldiers who he falsely claimed were martyred in Afghanistan’s Panjshir valley. The apparent confusion started after another former Indian army officer, Maj Gen GD Bakshi, posted a tweet claiming that the Pakistan Army had “suffered very heavy casualties” in Panjshir. Without sharing any evidence, Bakhsi tweeted that dozens of Pakistani soldiers had lost their lives and many others were wounded while supporting the Taliban in Panjshir. Bakshi’s tweets have been carried by Indian media on multiple occasions in the past.  Bakshi, who had a long career in the Indian army and holds a PhD in military history, is known for spreading fake news and rhetoric on Indian TV.

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