On a heavy news day, with the crisis in Afghanistan crisis escalating, the usual suspects of Indian TV news continued to do what they do best: run news without verifying facts, and peddle misinformation.
Today, Republic, Times Now Navbharat, and Zee Hindustan ran footage that they claimed were visuals from the ongoing military conflict between resistance fighters in Afghanistan's Panjshir and the Taliban.
Sadly for the three channels, the video isn't from Afghanistan at all; it's from a video game called Arma-3, as Boom pointed out in a .
But why let mere facts get in the way? Republic called it an "exclusive video" and evidence of Pakistan helping the Taliban take over Panjshir. The video is on their page, but here’s a of what you missed.
Times Now Navbharat also , as did , claiming that the footage (which, again, is from a video game) showed Pakistan bombing Panjshir valley.
All the channels cited one Hasti TV as a source. Hasti TV, which describes itself as a UK-based Afghan TV channel, had posted the video on Facebook, describing it as a video received from Panjshir showing a Pakistani military airplane flying over the area. The post has .
Boom noted that the video clip was from a longer YouTube video from Arma-3 uploaded in January. The video was also tweeted by Faran Jeffery, an “expert” in reporting and analysing terror incidents and conflicts. In a subsequent tweet, he played the "I was just having fun" card.
Not to be left behind, India Today this evening based on a tweet by an account alleged to be of Ahmed Masood, head of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan.
The channel claimed that a Pakistani jet was shot down by the resistance front in Panjshir. “They have shown that the jet has been shot down. Remember, they have been calling out Pakistan’s involvement and support to the Taliban,” the anchor said.
The picture of the jet shot down, however, is an image of a US F-16 that during a routine training flight near the Arizona-California border in 2018.
In India Today’s defence, it’s hard to get Panjshir right when they’re still struggling with anything south of the Vindhyas.