Pakistan’s citizens are in a panic after a new regarding another supposed airstrike from Indian Air Force and people on Twitter are posting fake news and videos regarding the unverified incident.
According to the speculation, IAF has once again sent its troops to carry out another airstrike near the International Border (IB) in Pakistan’s Punjab.
It all started when residents near the border have reported having heard loud bangs in an area near Fort Abbas in the Cholistan desert in Pakistan’s Bahawalpur district.
Residents in India’s side of the border have reported the same. Photos and videos of the supposed attack have circulated Twitter and other social media platforms showing images of metal shards that look like artillery shells. Many speculate that another escalation in the Indo-Pak conflict has emerged.
Many Pakistani Twitter users have accused the IAF of the supposed strike, speculating that the new air strike was carried out in Fort Abbas which is only 100 kilometers away from the Jaish – e – Mohammed camp in Balakot.
On February 26, both Indian and Pakistani governments have announced that the IAF has violated the Line of Control to carry out an airstrike against the Jaish terrorist camp in Balakot, Pakistan.
Indian authorities said that the strike has killed over 300 terrorists and have effectively destroyed a significant camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed which they described as the ‘heart of training for suicide bombers.’
Yousuf Azhar, the brother-in-law of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, leads the Balakot camp. He too was announced dead by Indian authorities.
The Indian retaliation followed the Jaish attack where terrorists blew up explosives next to a security envoy in Pulwama in Kashmir, killing 40 Indian soldiers.
Authorities from India bragged that among the bombs they dropped, six of them hit the Jaish facility after a one-hour-and-a-half operation that allowed Indian jets to go home ‘without a scratch.’
This claim, however, was denied by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan saying that the strike has not killed anybody since it took place in an inhabited part of Balakot.
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) released a statement, denying the role of IAF in today’s incident.
The official statement said the blast was a result of an explosion caused by Pakistani aircraft dropping extra fuel tanks in the area. “No cross border violation took place,” the statement added.
Before the official statement was released, many Twitter users from Pakistan fuelled speculation that IAF had a role in today’s blast near Fort Abbas, situated 100 kilometers from Jaish-e-Mohammed headquarters in Bahawalpur.
In fact, some Pakistani news portals even put out this information citing unverified sources.
“Breaking flash unconfirmed either IAF or Indian army via artillery has bombed Pakistan fort Abbas about 100kms west of Bahawalpur, JEM headquarters,” wrote a Pakistani Twitter user.
International media soon started tweeting about the incident as well amid the lack of proof and verifiable sources.
Circulation of fake posts has increased in the wake of escalating tension between India and Pakistan. However, many also called out to social media users for showing restraint on social media to avoid creating panic.
The tension between the two countries has grown since the Balakot airstrike. In the wake of the IAF strike on Balakot, which India claimed to have neutralized a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp and killed JeM leader, Yousuf Azhar, tension at the Indo-Pak border arise.
Around five Indian soldiers are injured after Pakistani troops opened heavy fire Nowshera sector, Akhnoor sector, and Krishna Ghati sector near the LoC. Other reports suggest that shellings also happened in Poonch.
India accused Pakistan of violating the 2003 ceasefire agreement that the two countries entered into after decades of war over Kashmir, a territory claimed by both countries but occupied on half each.
Local news agencies in India reported that Pakistan had violated the ceasefire agreement countless of times. “Pakistan continues to violate the 2003 ceasefire agreement with India, despite repeated calls for restraint and adherence to the pact during flag meetings between the two sides.” /apr