Indian PM’s Sinister Designs Betrayed By Indian Hawkish Anchor
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s accusation of Indian PM Modi’s sinister designs to win popular support by taking the offensive to Pakistan have been corroborated by recent media leaks of a controversial text exchange between Arnab Goswami and Partho Dasgupta.
WhatsApp text messaging records between the notoriously hawkish TV anchor, Goswami, and former CEO of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), Dasgupta, have been unearthed in which something “bigger than a normal strike” on Pakistan is stated clearly. The conversation was had three days before the February 26th Indian airstrike in Pakistan. Based on the conversation, it seems that Goswami knew about the airstrike in advance.
Although not explicitly stated, it can clearly be inferred from Goswami’s messages that the strike was expected to amplify support for Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, who was in the middle of his re-election campaign. In one message, he wrote: “On Pakistan the government is confident of striking in a way that people will be elated.” A preceding message by Goswami read, “Something big will happen,” to which Dasgupta replied, “Good,” “It’s good for big man in the season,” and “He will sweep polls then.” [sic]
It is worth recalling that Goswami is a firebrand anchor and the editor-in-chief and co-owner of Indian Republic TV. He is known to be a big supporter of PM Modi.
The conversation was unearthed by the Mumbai police in an investigation about manipulated TV ratings. The chat transcripts were submitted to a court as evidence in the case. In its characteristically absurd manner, Republic TV issued a statement on Goswami’s behalf in response, accusing the Pakistani govt of conspiring against his station.
India’s opposition party, Congress, is seeking “a serious inquiry” into who released state secrets to a journalist. However, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is doubtful that an inquiry will be conducted, lest the Indian PM himself is discovered to be behind the leaks.
On February 14, 2019, a suicide attack in Pulwama in Indian-Occupied Kashmir had killed 40 Indian soldiers. The responsibility of the attack had been claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammad, a Pakistan-based militant group. The Indian government blamed Pakistan for the attack and, in alleged retaliation, launched an airstrike in the town of Balakot in Kashmir on February 26, claiming to hit a terrorist camp. However, it was immediately revealed that the Indian bombs had fallen in an empty forest. Quick to respond, the Pakistani forces brought down one of the transgressing Indian fighter jets and captured its pilot. Later, the Pakistani government released the pilot, after countries like the US and China urged the two nuclear-armed states to calm down before things got out of hand.