Indian fake narrative rejected by domestic audience

  • The Modi government is getting deperate

Out of sheer desperation, Indian PM Narendra Modi’s government is continuing to churn out lies to support and justify its continued stranglehold over Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). Even after the lapse of over 100 days since India’s unilateral action of abrogating Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution on August 5, Modi has not dared to lift the curfew for fear of mass and bloody reprisal by the long oppressed and incarcerated Kashmiris. Pakistan may not have managed to bring down the might of the West or the Islamic Ummah to achieve a reprieve for the Kashmiris; yet its sole efforts, diplomatically supported by allies China, Turkey and Malaysia, have pushed the Kashmir issue to the glaring focus of world attention. The UN, EU and even the US Congress are discussing the constant curtailment of human rights in IOK. US President Donald Trump has made numerous offers to mediate between Pakistan and India to resolve the Kashmir issue within the last three and half months. Each time Mr Modi has shied away from the offer under flimsy pretexts.

International as well as Indian human rights activists along with academics, litterateurs and persons of conscience, including senior politicians even from the ruling BJP, have issued warnings to Modi to heed the plight of the besieged Kashmiris.

To justify its illegal annexation of IOK and Ladakh, the BJP government is now desperately issuing false narratives of terrorists being trained in Pakistan and preparing to be launched into IOK. Take the October 14 ANI story, “45-50 Terrorists, Including Suicide Bombers, Training at JeM Balakot Facility”, carried by Business Standard and other Indian media outlets; also repeated by the Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat. When asked to comment on the story, General Rawat blatantly confirmed the fake claim stating that Pakistan had not learnt its lesson from the February 26 Balakot air strike. India had claimed that following the February 14 (false flag) operation against the CPRF convoy in Pulwama in which 40 Indian Army personnel had been killed, the IAF had carried out a successful night surgical strike at an alleged Jaish-e-Muhammad training facility in Balakot on February 26 in which 350 “terrorists” were decimated. The very next morning Pakistan exposed the Indian lie by taking international and domestic media to the site where they witnessed for themselves that apart from a few pine trees, no damage was caused by the IAF strike. The PAF, on the contrary, struck back and, in the melee, the IAF lost two fighters, an Su-30 and MiG-21. In its frustration at the telling blow received at the hands of Pakistan, the Indian Air Chief made a false claim that its MiG-21 pilot, before being shot down, had downed a PAF F-16. The Indian bluff was exposed by the USA, which sent investigation teams and found all PAF F-16s intact. Former Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, on her deathbed admitted that there were no casualties in the February 26 IAF surgical strike. Israel, the supplier of the high-precision Popeye air-to-surface missiles to the IAF, should have conducted its own inquiry how the Indian pilots managed to miss all their targets in Balakot.

Pakistan debunked the General Rawat’s claim by taking diplomats to visit the affected areas in AJK. Indian diplomat refused to join the visit because apparently, he was already convinced of General Rawat’s fake narrative

The old fake news of the alleged JeM training facility is being revived by General Rawat and the BJP’s pliant media, but this time around, saner elements are questioning the lie.

In order to create a security scenario in IOK, India is routinely stirring up reports of her acts against the Kashmiri freedom struggle. The security scares of training terrorists and infiltration are not being met with serious response from the world. This is because Pakistan is raising concerns at every possible forum that India, like the Pulwama incident, is all set to create a false-flag and blame it on Pakistan.

The Hindustan Times of 15 October carried a news item ‘Army Hit by Silent Wall in LoC Intelligence Ops’, which claims that “The Indian Army’s monitors along the LoC fell silent soon after Article 370 was effectively revoked in IOK on 5 August. One official said we have not been able to crack the new frequency. We have been trying to intercept commands being sent to the Valley by terror organizations based there (in Pakistan) but have not been successful yet.” India won’t admit that there were never any secret contacts between Pakistan’s secret agencies and the just Kashmiri struggle for freedom from the Indian yoke of tyranny. Instead, the beleaguered BJP is trying to build fake narratives to whip Indian emotions, fool the world and garner support for its military actions against Pakistan.

Stung by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir’s passionate appeal at the UN to India to stop its atrocities against Kashmiris, India is trying to hit back. Mahathir has categorically declared that he would not retract his criticism of New Delhi’s actions despite Indian traders calling for an unprecedented boycott of Malaysian palm oil. The impasse could exacerbate what Mahathir described as a trade war between the world’s second-biggest producer and exporter of the commodity and its biggest buyer so far this year.

Turkey, the other Muslim country to have chastised India for its illegal occupation of Kashmir, has also been targeted by India joining Syria in condemning the Turkish military operation against Kurd terrorists.

Simultaneously, India has barred international and domestic media as well as international politicians from visiting IOK since its August 5 action. Recently, US Senator Chris Von Hollen and a well-known Indian activist, part of a US government Congressional delegation were stopped from visiting IOK. Sandeep Pandey, an education reformer, said he and other activists were barred from leaving the airport in Srinagar, where they had traveled for an informal fact-finding mission. Surely India has a lot to hide, thus the lid on visits to the troubled zone.

While the pro-India government of Bangladesh is yet to condemn India for its atrocities against the besieged Kashmiris, the people of Bangladesh are incensed at the brutalities against Muslims of IOK. To punish the Bengalis, the Modi government is trying to tighten its grip by spreading rumours through fake narratives. The Hindu of October 14 reported that the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was trying to spread its tentacles across India and a list of 125 suspects have been shared with different states. Addressing a meeting of chiefs of the Anti-Terrorism Squads (ATSs), Mr. Modi said the JMB has spread in states like Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala in the guise of Bangladeshi immigrants.

This is an attempt to pressurize the Bangladesh government to accept Muslims rendered stateless after the infamous national registration in Assam. It is a step closer to India establishing hegemony over the region through the Hindutva mindset. It will not be a surprise if India links terror to Bangladesh soon in order to halt her economic rise.

Meanwhile, VOA has reported that more than 900 people, most of them from India and Pakistan, have signed a resolution calling on the two governments to decrease hostilities and resolve their differences through dialogue. Drafted by Boston-based Pakistani journalist Beena Sarwar and Indian academic Anish Mishra, who is based in Singapore, the resolution aims to reduce the increased tensions between the two South Asian nuclear-armed rivals that have already fought five wars since their independence from the British in 1947.

Signatories include well-known artists, authors, journalists, politicians, activists and even retired armed forces personnel. Names like internationally renowned linguist and activist Noam Chomsky, Bollywood stars Naseeruddin Shah and Nandita Das, famous Indian film producer Mahesh Bhatt, poets such as Gulzar and Kishwar Naheed, and historians like Ayesha Jalal and Romila Thapar join the ranks of retired Generals Mahmud Durrani and Talat Masood and Admiral L. Ramdas (former Indian Navy Chief) as “peacemongers,” a name they have chosen for themselves.

To top this crescendo of fake narratives, General Rawat claimed that his Army had destroyed three out of four alleged terror launch pads and killed six to ten Pakistani soldiers in Azad Jammu Kashmir. It is true that India has been incessantly violating the ceasefire agreement of 2003 and carried out a heavy barrage of firing last Sunday, but in the retaliatory action by Pakistan, India suffered heavy casualties and had to raise the symbolic white flag to retrieve its dead. Pakistan debunked the General Rawat’s claim by taking diplomats to visit the affected areas in AJK. Indian diplomat refused to join the visit because apparently, he was already convinced of General Rawat’s fake narrative.