ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that the transcript of leaked WhatsApp conversations between an Indian anchorperson and a former head of a television ratings agency showed how his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, ventured into “dangerous military adventurism” to win the 2019 general election.
The conversations between Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami and Partho Dasgupta former chief executive officer (CEO) Broadcast Audience Research Council, surfaced during the probe into a headline-grabbing television rating scam, the firebrand journalist was aware of the Indian government’s plan to carry out a strike in Balakot, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) well in advance.
Commenting on the development, Prime Minister Imran, in a series of tweets, recalled he told the international community — in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019 — the hardline Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had “used the Balakot crisis for domestic electoral gains”.
In 2019, I spoke at UNGA on how India’s fascist Modi govt used the Balakot crisis for domestic electoral gains. Latest revelations from communication of an Indian journalist, known for his warmongering, reveal the unholy nexus between the Modi govt & Indian media
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 18, 2021
“Latest revelations from [the] communication of an Indian journalist, known for his warmongering, reveal the unholy nexus between the Modi government and Indian media that led to a dangerous military adventurism to win an election in utter disregard for the consequences of destabilizing the entire region.”
Pakistan’s “responsible, measured response”, he said, had averted a major military crisis, but that had not halted Modi’s attempts to turn his country into a “rogue” state.
“Indian sponsorship of terrorism in Pakistan, its abuses in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and a 15-year Indian global disinformation campaign against us all stand exposed,” he further said.
“Now India’s own media has revealed the dirty nexus that is pushing our nuclearized region to the brink of conflict it cannot afford.”
“I want to reiterate that my government will continue to expose India’s belligerent designs towards Pakistan and Modi government’s fascism. Int[ernationa]l community must stop India from its reckless, militarist agenda before the Modi government’s brinkmanship pushes our region into a conflict it cannot control.”
Seperately, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that India stood further exposed with the leaked chats revealing a “staggering new low”.
“Staging ‘false flag’ ops, stoking hyper-nationalism, unholy BJP-crony media nexus and endangering regional security. RSS-BJP rogue regime have no credibility going to any lengths to get to and stay in power,” he said.
According to Indian media reports, a 500-page document detailing messages exchanged between Goswami and Dasgupta revealed damning information related to the journalist’s close ties with Prime Minister Modi and members of the government.
The transcript disclosed showed that Goswami had prior information about some of the sensitive events and details including the Balakot attack, three days before it happened.
The messages further indicate the Pulwama attack that killed 44 Indian paramilitary soldiers in a remote town in held Kashmir was staged to get public sympathy and votes for the upcoming general elections. India had blamed Pakistan for the attack.
In one of the messages exchanged on February 14, 2019 — the day of the attack — Goswami, while referring to the incident, said: “This attack […] we have won like crazy.”
He also discussed the impacts of this attack and the rise in Modi’s political stature.
He further suggested that Modi’s government will take a “big step” against Pakistan and that it would be much bigger than any such attack before.