Republic TV journalist knew about Prime Minister Modi’s plan to conduct airstrikes near Balakot
India’s false flag operations against Pakistan have been uncovered once again. New Delhi’s campaign to malign Islamabad’s reputation stands exposed before the world after a damning WhatsApp conversation between the Republic TV founder and former CEO of the Broadcast Audience Research Council was made public.
Under investigation for a slew of charges, Republic TV anchor, Arnab Goswami was apparently aware of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to conduct airstrikes near Balakot -- 48 hours prior to the intrusion into Pakistan’s airspace, that ended in an international embracement for his country in 2019.
According to ThePrint, a New Delhi-based online newspaper, the exchange between Goswami and then Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) chief executive Partho Dasgupta over WhatsApp, a multiplatform messaging application, revealed that Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Partyadministration (BJP) had planned the air strike, just before the election, in a way that would ‘elate’ the people.
During the conversation dated 23 February 2019, Goswami informed Dasgupta that “something big will happen”. When the latter inquired if it was about “Dawood”, the Republic TV anchor responded, “No sir, Pakistan. Something major will be done this time.” Details of the chat between the two, showGoswami claiming that the air strikes were meant to secure victory for BJP’s Narendra Modi in the parliamentary election that year.
“It’s good for big man in this season. He (Modi) will sweep polls then,” replied Dasgupta, asking whether it will be “a strike” or “something bigger”.
Three days later, in the most jarring escalation of hostilities in more five decades, India’s warplanes crossed into Pakistan’s airspace to conduct what its air force called were strikes against terror camps. For the domestic audience, the attack was presented as India’s response to what happened in Pulwama on February 14, 2019. India claimed more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed that day. The move perfectly coincided with the peak of election-year nationalism in the country.
Commenting from Islamabad, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Security Strategic Policy Planning, Dr Moeed Yusuf reiterated that the Pulwama attack was orchestrated by the Indian leadership to extract the much-needed electoral mileage in the parliamentary polls later that year.
“Pakistan had told the world that Pulwama was a false flag that was orchestrated for domestic political gain, this has been vindicated today with the leak in India,” said prime minister’s top aide on national security Dr Moeed Yusuf.
India, through its actions, Dr Yusuf said, is a threat to regional peace.
“India’s behavior is increasingly that of a rogue state which threatens regional peace - through military aggression, unilateral actions, false flags, disinformation campaign, and state sponsored terrorism against Pakistan,” cautioned Dr Yusuf.
The transcript of Goswami’s conversation with Dasgupta, which is now part of a 3,400-page supplementary charge sheet filed by the Mumbai Police in their probe into the alleged Television Ratings Point scam, sent India’s social media savvy community into a tizzy.
Taking a direct potshot at Modi’s BJP government, Vinod K. Jose, the Executive Editor of the Caravan India, a New Delhi based magazine, said:“Arnab Goswami had prior information that Modi government would do “something major” in Kashmir in a way that “people will be elated?” So that “the big man” could then “sweep polls” it seems. This is the kind of things political storm will be raised in any democracies.”
The latest revelation in the form of Goswami’s conversation with Dasgupta comes a month after EU DisinfoLab, an independent EU-focused NGO whose mission it is to raise awareness on disinformation, uncovered a 15-year Indian operation to malign Pakistan’s reputation before international organizations, including the UN and EU.
Referring to the Arnab-gate as another link in the same chain, Hassan Akbar, Senior Policy Specialist at the National Security Division said: “Arnab-gate has once again exposed the lies that have been spun by India against Pakistan.”
“If you look at the EU DisinfoLab report and now these revelations, it’s clear that India’s inconsistent and disingenuous position is being exposed as time goes by,” said Akbar from Islamabad, where he is based. The Pulwama episode, Akbar said was a reckless ploy to gain political milage before the election. “The world can see the extent to which Modi can go to destabilize a nuclear region for petty political gains without care for the loss of life of their own soldiers,” he added.
Goswami’s chat shows the anchor was celebrating the death of 40 Indian soldiers in Pulwama. “This attack we have won like crazy,” said the Republic TV anchor in one of the messages sent to Dasgupta.
From the nature and extent of information exchanged between the two, it is apparent that the anchor was sharing details provided by an Indian government functionary. At several instances during their long conversations, Goswami, the firebrand host, reminds the recipient of his proximity to Prime Minister Modi’s office.
“What we are also witnessing is the extent to which Indian intelligence and mainstream media is hand in glove. Arnab Goswami knew in advance about both Balakot and Article 370 revocation,” said Hassan Akbar, Senior Policy Specialist at the National Security Division.
India, according to a Karachi-based foreign policy expert, has always been involved in sponsoring terrorism abroad and orchestrating it at home to blame Pakistan.
“I’ve always been very sure that India has been carrying these false flag operations -- and Pulwama was one of them. Even the Mumbai attack was orchestrated by the Indians themselves,” said Dr Talat Wizarat, a senior foreign policy expert.
Referring to the nature of the information being shared by Goswami, the expert said: “India’s intelligence agencies have been behaving like rogue actors. They employ media to achieve their objectives and that is an unhealthy combination.”
According to Dr Wizarat, India’s actions in the region have exposed the self-proclaimed world's largest democracy.“That myth about India being a democracy is already exposed,” she quipped.
Dr Wizarat urged international organizations to impose sanctions on India for its actions that can potentially destabilize the region.
“Now that India’s activities have been exposed, Europe, UN and other international institutions should take some action against New Delhi. If they don’t do that other nations will adopt similar policies, and that in the long run, will harm world peace,” she added.
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