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News channels air video game clip to claim ‘Pakistan air force attacked Panjshir’

Several news channels ran footage of what they claimed to be visuals of Pakistan air force's support for the Taliban in Panjshir in Afghanistan.

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New Delhi: 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”.

According to Boom, a fact-checking website, the footage was first run by ‘Hasti TV’, which claims to be an Afghan TV channel in the United Kingdom. They shared the video with the caption, “A video that we just received from Panjshir shows that a Pakistani military airplane is flying over Panjshir. Until now, the official sources have not approved this video.”

The video, however, is actually from a video game called ‘ARMA 3’.


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).

Aaj Tak also shared a tweet from the fake account (@Mohsood123) claiming that “the Taliban captured Panjshir.”


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