Zeeshan Munir l
An article titled “What Coronavirus? PAK busy Missile testing, orchestrating terror in Kashmir ” was posted on Indian website ibtimes.co.in on April 20th,2020 .Regrettably, not just the title but the article itself is nothing more than a piece of propaganda which as usual is pivoted around an anti-Pakistan bias.
The author formally begins the article with a reference to the Pakistan Navy (PN) issuing a warning about a danger zone to clear ships and aircraft from +25000 SQ NM area in the Arabian Sea where it will be conducting “missile and gunnery firing practice with live ammunition”. A twitter handle @detresfa_ has been referred to as a source of this news. The author failed to notice that the same twitter account mentions that India has issued seven ‘area warnings’ since the beginning of 2020 while Pakistan has issued only two.
Nonetheless, live ammunition firing exercises are not an anomaly and navies around the globe hold such maneuvers regularly. While Pakistan Navy being a professional force will be assessing its operational readiness in Arabian Sea, Indian Navy ships continue to be deployed to the Gulf of Oman and Gulf of Aden and are practically sitting off shore doing nothing (due to worldwide lockdown) putting strain on resources which could otherwise be diverted for humanitarian assistance of millions of poor Indian citizens.
Author was blinded by his desire to malign Pakistan and criticized government’s efforts in fighting the Covid 19, claiming that instead of curbing the pandemic, Pakistan is fomenting terrorism in Kashmir and carrying naval exercises in Arabian Sea.
Contrary to author’s assertion, WHO has lauded Pakistan’s efforts in dealing with the novel corona virus outbreak as per standardized clinical protocols. Pakistan is also one of the first developing countries to announce official relief package worth Rs1.2-trillion ($8 Billion), including a Rs100-billion supplementary grant to assist 12 million poor families. Also, PM Imran Khan became a global voice for debt relief for developing nations raising his stature as a global humanitarian icon. This is in stark contrast to Indian PM Modi known for his ‘extremist Nazi ideology’ has also resorted to religious discrimination even in treating Covid 19 patients. Meanwhile, HR organizations world over have warned about possibilities of uncontrolled corona outbreak in virtually locked down IOK, since New Delhi is intentionally denying medical assistance to the residents. The Muslim-majority region is suffering from the hatred symbolized by Indian Defense Minister and Hindutva ideologues. Similarly, Pakistan Navy which has been criticized for conducting routine naval exercise by the author is continuing nationwide corona relief program through numerous assistance operations in Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab.
Towards the end the real essence of the article is revealed when the author accused Pakistan of cross border terrorism in Indian Occupied Kashmir and of violation of ceasefire. Pakistan’s military media wing ISPR has shunned such accusations and stated in a press release that during the year 2020, the Indian Army had committed 708 ceasefire violations so far, in which two citizens embraced shahadat while 42 sustained injuries. The spike in so called terror activities in IOK which author so vociferously highlighted is merely indigenous resistance against constant and blatant HR violations by Indian military.
This article was first published in Voice of Sindh and has been republished here with author’s consent.