New Delhi, Mar 2: Time has dulled Pakistan's memory in more ways than one. Thus, notwithstanding the claim of enforcing principles of 'Naya Pakistan' - as claimed by its new Prime Minister Imran Khan - Islamabad has not yet given up the old habits of trying to thrive in propaganda.
It is certainly this machination that made authorities in India's western neighbour delay the release of captured Air Force pilot Wing Commander Pilot - as he was 'made to undergo' a video recording wherein he is made to say among other things - the Pakistani Army is "very professional and I am impressed by it".
In the ongoing conflict, such a thing has not happened for the first time - and nor it is going to be the last. "The government of India is aware of power of deceitful strategies applied by Pakistan. Thus, 'Naya Pakistan' of Imran Khan is no different from the old - where bluff and an attempt to turn crushing defeat into 'wins' used to be the order of the day," a government source told UNI here.
As endorsement to this statement, the Indian Air Force on Friday evening released a 'Diary of Events' talking about the latest conflict and aerial engagement.
"There have been many factually incorrect statements that have been made by Pakistan. The First blatant disinformation was that two IAF aircraft were shot down by Pakistan and three pilots were downed. This figure was later revised downwards to two IAF aircraft and two Pilots. The fact, however, is that Indian Army units had reported sighting two parachutes falling in the PO J&K which were of two F-16 pilots shot down by the IAF MiG-21 Bison," the IAF said. "Pakistan later in the evening (Feb 27) changed its statement to say that one Indian pilot was in their custody," it says.
According to sources, such a policy has existed among the Pakistani military and even political leadership even in 1960s and 1970s. A retired Army officer and now a BJP lawmaker says, "This is part of their medieval history legacy. None will question an authority even if it is utterly falsehood. They will not seek reform and instead sit back and endure and look for loopholes and theories to deny the fact".
According to him, this was cited in 1965 war and also in 1971 - when Pakistan Army suffered a crushing defeat and had to part with its eastern front in the name of Bangladesh. "Archives of media reporting in custody of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) of Pakistan show that grossly exaggerated and false claims of 'military success' were made by the Pakistan military both during 1965 and 1971," the source said.
Even the most 'neutral historians' among Pakistanis, including those settled in the US and European countries, would say that the 1965 Indo-Pak war had 'ended in a stalemate' --- something which is far from truth. In 1965, he says - there are records to suggest Pakistan resorted to propaganda machination by setting up a so called ‘revolutionary radio’ --- the 'Radio Sada-e-Kashmir'.
The new 'radio station' used to claim of Kashmiri 'revolutionary council' setting up "parallel government in India- administered Kashmir". There would be also claims that at least crucial bridges on main road linking Jammu with Srinagar and the Kashmir valley have been 'destroyed'. "Subsequently, Pakistani sponsored propaganda used to be even giving out 'maps' to substantiate the claims. This was old generation video or whatsapp games," the source said.
Hence, many in security establishments in Delhi are not surprised that Wg Cdr Abhinandan was made to go for an artificial video shooting. "This video of Abhinandan in circulation is not the end of the story. They might have had Wg Cdr Abhinandan sign some blank papers and these may be used and misused in times to come writing all kinds of things about Indian forces and also Pakistan," the source said.
An old timer says in this context, after the 1965 war, the then Field Marshal Ayub Khan continued in power, but his credibility was shaken and this subsequently prompted him to resort to wild campaign against the then 'East Pak' leader Sheikh Mujibar Rahman. "But the propaganda had failed, when Mujib was charged with high treason, the alienation of Bengalis against western Pak leadership widened and the rest is history," the source said.
Against this backdrop, Indian side says - despite the fact that time span has entered the 21st century, the so called 'virtues of information and technological age' has not entered Pakistani mindset. "Most Pakistanis have not even heard of the Pak army’s failure to ‘liberate’ Kashmir through ‘Operation Gibraltar’ which was launched in 1965. The Pak operation 'Grand Slam’ also failed. Similarly, in Kargil, they were forced to make retreat, but there is ignorance and blackout simply because these bitter events do not find any mention in the official narrative," says an analyst.
Thus, the implication is Pakistan may easily disown Wg Cdr Shahzaz Ud Din - who was apparently killed by an 'unruly mob' after his F-16 jet fighter crashed on February 27. If 'lie' is an instrument, Pakistan has won many battles against India. But at the end of the day, Pakistan remains a country where the truth easily gets countered by 'falsehood' and silence.
And that silence is actually a lie. Here comes the relevance of Air Force officials insisting that while F-16 was downed on February 27, Pakistan is busy denying the obvious.
"There is enough evidence...Pakistan is trying to hide this. The AMRAAM Air to Air Missile was used. Pakistan has only one aircraft that can carry AMRAAM and that is F-16s, they do not have another plane which can have AMRAAM fitted. Parts of AMRAAM were recovered in East of Rajauri within the Indian Territory. Therefore, it is a fact F-16 plane was used and it was shot down by IAF MiG-21 Bison," Air Vice Marshal R G Kapoor told reporters. (UNI )