Saturday, March 2, 2019

Balakot & Kashmir: Fact Checkers Expose Indian Lies

Indian government and media have made a series of false claims about Balakot "militant casualties" and "shooting down Pakistani F16". Both of these claims have been scrutinized and debunked by independent journalists, experts and fact checkers. There is no dispute about the fact that Squadron Leader Hasan Siddiqui of Pakistan Air Force (PAF), flying a Pakistan-made JF-17 fighter, shot down Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of Indian Air Force (IAF) flying a Russia made MiG 21. Abhinandan was captured by Pakistan and then released to India.

Pakistani F-16:

PAF's Hasan Siddiqui (above) shot down IAF's Wing Commander Abhi (below)
Indian government and media claimed that an Indian Air Force pilot shot down a Pakistani F-16 on February 26, 2019 over Kashmir. This claim and the evidence offered were examined by Belling Cat, a fact-check site that successfully investigated the downing of a Malaysian passenger jet over Ukraine. Belling Cat's Veli-Pekka Kivimäkithere concluded that "no compelling evidence offered as of yet that an F-16 would have been shot down, and all signs point to MiG-21 wreckage having been on display thus far".

Abhijit Aiyar Mitra, an Indian aviation expert participating in an India Today TV Show, embarrassed the show host on a live show when asked to identify a wrecked engine as being an F-16 engine. The expert correctly stated that Pakistani F-16s are equipped with Pratt and Whitney engines and what the TV host was calling a Pakistani F-16 engine was made by a different manufacturer.

Both Kivimäki and Mitra concluded that the image offered as evidence of Pakistani F-16 engine was in fact from a MiG 21 wreckage.

Balakot Casualties:

Announcing the Indian air strikes in Pakistan, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale claimed the strike killed “a very large number of Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists, trainers, senior commanders, and groups of jihadis who were being trained for Fidayeen action were eliminated.” Another senior government official told reporters that about 300 militants had been killed.

The Indian government claim was soon followed by a video clip purportedly capturing a portion of that air strike on social media. Fact Check site snopes.com analyzed this video and declared the Indian claim "false".

Reuter reporters visited the target area in Balkot in Pakistan and talked to an eyewitness who said, “No one died. Only some pine trees died, they were cut down. A crow also died.” Here's an excerpt from the Reuter's report:

People in the area said Jaish-e Mohammad did have a presence, running not an active training camp but a madrassa, or religious school, less than a kilometer from where the bombs fell. “It is Taleem ul Quran madrassa. The kids from the village study there. There is no training,” said Nooran Shah, another villager.

Indian Warplane Down:

There is no dispute about the fact that Squadron Leader Hasan Siddiqui of Pakistan Air Force (PAF), flying a Pakistan-made JF-17 fighter, shot down Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of Indian Air Force (IAF) flying a Russia made MiG 21. Abhinandan was captured by Pakistan and then released to India.

Summary:

All of the Indian claims about "JeM militant casualties" and shooting down of Pakistani F-16 have been debunked by independent fact-checkers and foreign media reporting on it.  Villagers in Balakot told Reuters that "Only some pine trees died, they were cut down. A crow also died.”  Belling Cat's Veli-Pekka Kivimäkithere and Indian analyst Abhijit Mitra have said that the images of the wreckage being offered as proof of downed F-16 are in fact from MiG-21. There is no dispute about the fact that Squadron Leader Hasan Siddiqui of Pakistan Air Force (PAF), flying a Pakistan-made JF-17 fighter, shot down Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of Indian Air Force (IAF) flying a Russia made MiG 21. Abhinandan was captured by Pakistan and then released to India.

Here's a video clip of Indian aviation expert Abhijit Mitra embarrassing his India Today host:

https://youtu.be/FJ8MmTvRZ8Q




12 comments:

Monis R. said...

Good and needed writeup

Ahmad F. said...

There is little doubt that India has totally made a fool of itself. Modi should have resigned. But Pakistan should not underestimate India. We don’t want a repeat of the elation that followed the Rann of Kutch episode and then proceeded with the disastrous adventures, Operation Gibraltar and Operation Grand Slam in Kashmir which led to a full scale war in September 1965.

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad: " Pakistan should not underestimate India"


In this instance, it's Modi and India being delusional. It's absolutely necessary for Pakistan to remind them of the reality. https://www.riazhaq.com/2015/10/indias-superpower-delusions-modis.html

Riaz Haq said...

"Desh Ka Bahut Nuksaan Hua Hai" Says #Modi on Losing to #Pakistan. #India #Balakot #Kashmir https://youtu.be/QIt0EAAr3PU via @YouTube

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suffered badly after his military's failures in Balakot and Kashmir. Not only did Indian air strikes fail but India lost aircraft and had one of its pilots captured in Kashmir.

Javed E. said...

An analysis based on Remote Sensing Satellite Imagery and ground Captutured images https://medium.com/dfrlab/surgical-strike-in-pakistan-a-botched-operation-7f6cda834b24?smid=nytcore-ios-share


"Using open-source evidence and satellite imagery, @DFRLab was able to confirm the location of the Indian airstrike to be near Balakot, rather than inside it, and firmly within Pakistani territory. The target was supposedly a JEM-led madrassa, but @DFRLab was unable to confirm that any bombs reached buildings associated with it.

The SPICE-2000 is a precision-guided bomb that should not miss its target by the approximately 100 meters that the impact craters were from the nearest structures. The autonomous nature of the SPICE-2000 adds mystery to why the bombs seemed to miss. Satellite imagery did not suggest that any damage was inflicted to nearby buildings. Vegetation and low imagery resolution could hypothetically obscure structural damage, but this remains highly improbably. Something appears to have gone wrong in the targeting process — exactly what, however, remains unclear in the open-source evidence."

Nayyer Ali said...

What I found puzzling is the Indian use of a Mig-21. This is an ancient aircraft from the 1960's Cold War era. It should not be flying in combat conditions with modern fighters that would have no problem engaging it. The JF-17, while not as good as modern F-16 or the newer F-35, is a competent modern jet. India has better aircraft in its Air Force, and given the need to avoid embarrassing loss of planes over Pakistan, it is odd they used a Mig-21.

Riaz Haq said...

Paper elephant: #Modi's #India spends a fortune on #military and gets poor value for money. At $62billion, it has swept past that of its ex colonial master #UK. #Balakot #Pakistan #Kashmir #PakistanLeadsWithPeace #AbhinandanReturns https://www.economist.com/asia/2018/03/28/india-spends-a-fortune-on-defence-and-gets-poor-value-for-money via @TheEconomist

For nearly a decade India has also been the world’s top importer of arms. In terms of active manpower and the number of ships and planes, its armed forces are already among the world’s top five.

Measured by ambition, India may rank higher still. Its military doctrine envisages fighting simultaneous land wars against Pakistan and China while retaining dominance in the Indian Ocean. Having revealed its nuclear hand in 1998 with a series of tests, India has developed its own ground-hugging cruise missiles and is trying to perfect submarine-launched intercontinental ones, too. Since the Hindu nationalist party of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, took power in 2014 it has also adopted a more muscular posture. Last summer it sparred with China atop the Himalayas in the tensest stand-off in decades. It has also responded to cross-border raids by militant groups from Pakistan not with counterinsurgency tactics and diplomatic ire, but with fierce artillery strikes against Pakistani forces.

Anonymous said...

I am waiting for Modi's response. He can not afford to be seen as weak, specially during election season.

Also, please check this:
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1921809/6-delhi-in-disneyland/

Zamir

Riaz Haq said...

After #India Loses Dogfight to #Pakistan, Questions Arise About Its #Military. Its loss of a plane last week to a country whose military is about half the size and receives a quarter of the funding is telling. #Kashmir #PakistanStrikesBack https://nyti.ms/2VwWjmz

India’s armed forces are in alarming shape.

It was an inauspicious moment for a military the United States is banking on to help keep an expanding China in check.

An Indian Air Force pilot found himself in a dogfight last week with a warplane from the Pakistani Air Force, and ended up a prisoner behind enemy lines for a brief time.

The pilot made it home in one piece, however bruised and shaken, but the plane, an aging Soviet-era MiG-21, was less lucky.

The aerial clash, the first by the South Asian rivals in nearly five decades, was a rare test for the Indian military — and it left observers a bit dumbfounded. While the challenges faced by the India’s armed forces are no secret, its loss of a plane last week to a country whose military is about half the size and receives a quarter of the funding was still telling.

India’s armed forces are in alarming shape.

If intense warfare broke out tomorrow, India could supply its troops with only 10 days of ammunition, according to government estimates. And 68 percent of the army’s equipment is so old, it is officially considered “vintage.”

“Our troops lack modern equipment, but they have to conduct 21st-century military operations,” said Gaurav Gogoi, a lawmaker and member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defense.

American officials tasked with strengthening the alliance talk about their mission with frustration: a swollen bureaucracy makes arms sales and joint training exercises cumbersome; Indian forces are vastly underfunded; and the country’s navy, army and air force tend to compete rather than work together.

Whatever the problems, the United States is determined to make the country a key ally in the coming years to hedge against China’s growing regional ambition.

Last year, when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced that the Pentagon was renaming its Pacific Command — to Indo-Pacific — he emphasized India’s importance in a shifting world order.

Riaz Haq said...

#India and The Cult of #Stupidity. It pledges unquestioning allegiance and absolute devotion to its leader #Modi. The great bulk of its ire is on universities of higher learning and attacks institutes of liberal education. #BJP #Hindutva https://thewire.in/society/india-and-the-cult-of-stupidity via @thewire_in
By Rohit Kumar

I have been searching for the longest time for the right words to describe something oppressive, pervasive and utterly bewildering that seems to have taken over large parts of Indian society over the last five years. I finally found the term I was looking for in the pages of a recently released collection of essays edited by Professor Apoorvanand called The Idea of a University.

Those words are “the cult of stupidity.” A blunt term to be sure, but an accurate one.

According to Prof Alok Rai, one of the contributing authors in this book,

“A great and aggressive cult of stupidity seems to have taken over the world. (…) The distrust of intellectuals, of people who have cultivated nuance and sophistication, (and) laboriously acquired an appreciation of complexity …”

The cult of stupidity has certainly spread across India. Like any other cult worth its name, this one, too, pledges unquestioning allegiance and absolute devotion to its leader – a demigod who can do no wrong, who despite his most glaring incompetencies and character flaws, is seen as the great answer to all the ills of the land.

Like other cults, this one also envisages a glorious new India where non-cult members will be bowed and subservient, and has apocalyptic visions of what could happen if they won’t. (The thought of co-existing harmoniously with ‘The Other’ does not cross its mind).

Most crucially, this cult, too, only sees the world in binaries – us vs. them, in-group vs. out-group, patriot vs. traitor – and pronounces judgment on those who refuse to see India as it does. This is why it actively resists and attacks those who look beyond binaries, who question why things are so, and who challenge established narratives and the status quo. That is also why it focuses the great bulk of its ire on universities of higher learning and attacks institutes of liberal education.

And lastly and most amazingly, the cult of stupidity only considers itself wise and everyone else stupid. How is such a thing even possible? The answer might lie in what Charles Darwin once said – “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

The Dunning-Kruger effect

More recently, in the late 1990s, a couple of social psychologists, David Dunning and Justin Kruger, shed light on a type of cognitive bias in which people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are, but in reality lack the intelligence or awareness to recognise their own lack of intelligence and awareness. – A sadder or more apt description of the cult of stupidity would be hard to find.

Dunning and Kruger performed a series of experiments and found that people who scored in the lowest percentiles on tests of grammar, humour, and logic also tended to dramatically overestimate how well they had performed. (Their actual test scores placed them in the 12th percentile, yet they estimated that their performance had placed them in the 62nd percentile.)

Incompetent people, the researchers found, are not only poor performers, they are also unable to accurately assess and recognise the quality of their own work. These low performers were also unable to recognise the skill and competence levels of other people, which is part of the reason why they consistently view themselves as better, more capable, and more knowledgeable than others.

Riaz Haq said...

After Pulwama, the Indian media proves it is the BJP's propaganda ...
Washington Post-Mar 4, 2019
Suchitra Vijayan is the executive director of the Polis Project. Vasundhara Sirnate Drennan is director of research at the Polis Project.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/

Riaz Haq said...

#India-#Pakistan Conflict a Parade of #Lies. The lies began immediately after Indian forces attacked what they described as a terrorist training camp in #Balakot. They offered no visual proof but Indian #media filled in a government-friendly narrative.
https://nyti.ms/2SNrXdV

The lies began immediately after Indian forces attacked what they described as a terrorist training camp in a Pakistani town called Balakot. The Indian government offered no visual proof of the effectiveness of its strikes, and there is still debate among Indian politicians about what was hit. Pakistan’s military quickly put out pictures from Balakot showing not much damage.

Indian media, however, appeared eager to fill in a government-friendly narrative. As the Indian fact-checking site Alt News documented, several outlets, including some of the country’s largest TV news networks, aired what they described as exclusive footage of Indian fighter jets attacking Balakot.