Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday slammed the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in New Delhi for using local media to malign Islamabad for political benefit following fresh disclosures of the pre-planned air attack of the Indian army in Balakot in 2019.
In a series of tweets, Khan said he had pointed out in his address to the UN General Assembly in 2019 how India’s “fascist [Narendra] Modi government” used the Balakot crisis for domestic electoral gains.
“Latest revelations from communication of an Indian journalist, known for his warmongering, reveal the unholy nexus between the Modi govt & Indian media,” Khan stated.
A massive WhatsApp expose suggested, the Indian airstrike which targeted the town of Balakot in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkwa province in February 2019 to avenge the killings of the Indian troopers, who were killed on Feb. 14 that year, was pre-planned.
Evidence submitted by police in the Indian city of Mumbai as part of an ongoing investigation into manipulation of television ratings suggests that controversial Indian TV host Arnab Goswami knew of New Delhi's plan to strike the Pakistani town days before the Kashmir attack.
Over 40 Indian troops were killed in a suspected militant attack on a military convoy in Pulwama district of disputed Jammu and Kashmir on Feb. 14, 2019, for which New Delhi blamed Pakistan. Islamabad, however, denied the charge.
The expose comes after WhatsApp chat conversations between Goswami and Partho Dasgupta, the incarcerated head of rating company, Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), was made public.
On Feb. 26, Indian jets crossed into Pakistan and dropped bombs on the outskirts of Balakot, claiming to have targeted a militant training camp.
The next day, the Pakistani Air Force shot down two Indian aircraft and arrested a pilot, who was later released as a “goodwill gesture.”
“Indian sponsorship of terrorism in Pakistan, its abuses in IIOJK [Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir] & a 15-year Indian global disinformation campaign against us all stand exposed. Now India's own media has revealed the dirty nexus that is pushing our nuclearized region to the brink of a conflict it cannot afford,” Khan said.
He reiterated that his government will continue to expose India's belligerent designs toward Pakistan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government's “fascism.”
"International community must stop India from its reckless, militarist agenda before the Modi government's brinkmanship pushes our region into a conflict it cannot control,” the Pakistani premier warned.
On Sunday, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry also urged the world community to hold India "accountable" for an airstrike by its air force on a northwestern Pakistani town in February 2019.
Meanwhile, former Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha has said: "Arnab chats clearly establish that BJP's victory in 2019 elections was contrived and national security was used as an excuse to win votes. Deplorable."
"How low can a party descend to grab power? Can winning elections by hook or crook be a party's supreme goal?" he tweeted. Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.