FAKE NEWS: Pakistani Defense Minister threatens Israel with nuclear weapons

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Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja M. Asif

[Editor’s note: This is a textbook example of the use of fake news to further a political agenda. In this case, it is Israel who is using the technique via the website AWD News, a Shin Bet run fake news outlet.

The goal of this operation was to ‘test run’ a threat against Pakistan in order to gauge the likely Pakistani reaction. 

Israel believes it can threaten and coerce Pakistan because it has the support of India, a rapidly growing power that is widely touted to become a superpower and has a very strained relationship with it’s smaller neighbour, Pakistan.

Israel and India have had close ties for decades, not least because Israel has transferred vital military technologies to India, especially key knowledge needed for India to develop it’s own ICBMs.

Both India and Pakistan possess arsenals of nuclear weapons and many analysts have opined that it is only Pakistan’s possession of such weapons that has prevented India from invading. India and Pakistan fought three wars between the end of British rule in 1947 and the explosion of India’s first nuclear weapon in 1974.

Since the beginning of the nuclear arms race between the two nations, there has been no recurrence of large scale warfare, although there have been many instances of low intensity fighting, mostly in the mountainous border regions. 

Therefore, while it may be opined that the nuclear threat has maintained a degree of peace between the two rivals, the situation remains tense and liable to reignite at almost any moment. Ian]

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Jerusalem Post
Pakistani Defense Minister threatens Israel with nuclear weapons following fake news report

Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja M. Asif threatened Israel late Friday night, following a fake news report from the website AWD, stating that Israel’s defense minister was threatening to destroy Pakistan.

The fake news article, titled, “Israeli Defense Minister: If Pakistan send ground troops into Syria on any pretext, we will destroy this country with a nuclear attack,” was later published by a variety of other news sources.

  The article claimed that former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon had threatened Pakistan last Tuesday, following a reported Pakistani deal to send troops to help fight Islamic State in Syria.

AWD had trouble keeping Ya’alon’s title straight, the website originally called him by his correct title of former defense minister, later on in the report he is refereed to as the current defense minister. Ya’alon was replaced by current Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman this past May.

The article even issued the fake quote, “As far as we are concerned,that is a threat,if, by misfortune, they arrive in Syria, we will know what to do,we will destroy them with a nuclear attack.”

The Pakistani defense minister tweeted that Israel had forgotten that Pakistan also has nuclear capabilities.

The tweet at the time of reporting was still on the Pakistani Defense Ministers verified Twitter page, with many responding with criticism of the minister.

A verified Israeli Defense Ministry account responded to the tweet in Hebrew stating that the report was completely fictitious.

Asif had not tweeted since.

Author Details
Ian Greenhalgh is a photographer and historian with a particular interest in military history and the real causes of conflicts.

His studies in history and background in the media industry have given him a keen insight into the use of mass media as a creator of conflict in the modern world.

His favored areas of study include state-sponsored terrorism, media manufactured reality and the role of intelligence services in manipulation of populations and the perception of events.
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