The Indian media has accused Pakistan Air Force (PAF) of aerial bombing in Panjshir valley, Afghanistan by playing fake videos from a game.
Several news channels including India Today, Republic TV, Times Now Navbharat, and Zee News ran footage of what they claimed to be visuals of Pakistan army’s support for the Taliban in Panjshir in Afghanistan.
Republic TV aired ‘exclusive’ footage from ‘Hasti TV’ of airstrikes, claiming that the “Pakistani air force has attacked Panjshir valley” and that “resistance forces spokesperson has been killed”.
Following Republic TV’s footsteps were Hindi news channels Times Now Navbharat and Zee Hindustan who also ran the same footage and claimed the video shows “Pakistani airstrikes in Panjshir” and “Pakistan bombing Panjshir valley”.
The Indian news channel, Republic TV, ran clips from the video game, Arma-3, claiming to be the exclusive footage of the aerial strike in Panjshir by PAF on anti-Taliban fighters.
Republic TV posted the video with the caption, “Pakistan army supporting Taliban against Northern Alliance in Panjshir”. Mohammed Zubair, an Indian journalist, claimed that the Republic TV has used a fake video from the video game claiming it to be the exclusive footage of aerial strikes.
The Indian journalist also shared fake news shared by India Today on the clashes in Panjshir valley. He shared that India Today quoted a fake account of Ahmed Massoud that claimed that a Pakistani fighter jet has been shot down in Panjshir. The image shared by the fake account is actually of a U.S. F-16 fighting falcon crash landing during training in Arizona. Indian media has several times been spotted spreading fake news regarding Pakistan.
India Today, meanwhile, played an old video of an American F-15 jet flying in Wales, calling it the “first visuals of a fighter jet, allegedly belonging to Pakistan, hovering over Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan”. The anchor even went on to claim that it was evidence of a “full fledged Pakistani invasion” of Afghanistan”.
Their misreporting was exposed by the UK Defence Journal, an independent website reporting on coverage of defence matters in the United Kingdom and around the world.
India Today also ran an old picture, which captured a US F-16 Fighting Falcon crashing down during a routine training exercise in Arizona, United States, claiming it to be an image of a Pakistani fighter jet after being shot down by resistance fighters in Panjshir, Afghanistan. The channel further said the image was tweeted by Ahmad Massoud, the leader of Afghanistan’s National Resistance Front (NRF).