Alt News, an Indian fact-checking website, said the Indian media’s reports on Pakistan diplomat’s claim on Balakot airstrike are “false”.
On Friday (January 9), Indian news outlets reported that former Pakistani diplomat, Agha Hilaly had claimed that 300 terrorists were killed in the February 26, 2019 Balakot airstrike.
The story was reported by ANI, Republic, The Times of India, Moneycontrol, WION, Hindustan Times, Odisha TV, Jagran, Swarajya, Lokmat, Oneindia, Deccan Herald, Business Today, Livemint, DNA, The Quint, News18 India, HW News, India Today, CNBC TV18, ABP News and India TV among others.
The reports claimed that in a TV news debate Hilaly said, “India crossed the international border and did an act of war in which at least 300 were reported dead.”
However, Alt News in its report claimed Pakistani diplomat Hilaly as saying in the TV debate that India “intended to kill at least 300 people”.
“We looked for the debate on YouTube and found that it was uploaded by HUM news as part of a program called “Agenda Pakistan”. The topic of the debate was “By using the vocabulary of the enemy (in this context “surgical strike”) is Pakistan making its own case weak?”
Alt News report further quoted Hilaly as saying: “What you did, India, was an act of war. India ne jo kiya, international boundary ko cross karke ek act of war. Jisme kam se kam 300 logo ko unhone marna tha.” (“What you did, India was an act of war. By crossing the international boundary India committed an act of war in which they intended to kill at least 300 people)