New Delhi (Sputnik): The New York Times has come under sharp criticism from Indians over a recent article on India's capability of waging war following the aerial clash between India and Pakistan.
"An Indian Air Force pilot found himself in a dogfight last week with a warplane from the Pakistani Air Force, and ended up a prisoner behind enemy lines for a brief time", the article reads.
Reacting to the observations, senior Indian journalists have described it as ill-founded.
"You can draw your own conclusions, but don't basic reporting guidelines mean you at least report the detailed Indian claim that the IAF MiG 21 Bison shot down an F-16 before being downed itself?" Vishnu Som, defence editor, NDTV tweeted.
1. @nytimesworld you can draw your own conclusions, but dont basic reporting guidelines mean you at least report the detailed Indian claim that the IAF MiG 21 Bison shot down an F-16 before being downed itself? https://t.co/7qNPw5F9qs— Vishnu Som (@VishnuNDTV) March 4, 2019
"In as much as the MiG 21 is an ancient platform, how did you reach the conclusion that the heavily upgraded IAF MiG 21 Bison, used here, was inferior to the F-16 in the within visual range context given the glowing USAF reports of its capability in the past?" Som added.
Glad you made the point. don't let the number of Pulitzers they won in their 102-year history lull anyone into the false belief that they are necessarily free of biases, ignorance or sloppy journalism.— Anchit Gupta (@AnchitGupta9) March 4, 2019
Noted columnist Sadanand Dhume observed that even if Balakot was a damp squib in military terms (possible though not certain), it could still mark a watershed.
"If India's new policy is to retaliate against terrorist groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammad in mainland Pakistan (not just in Kashmir), then Balakot is unambiguously bad news for Pakistan. It suggests that what was safe yesterday may be unsafe tomorrow. Recognizing this is just common sense", Dhume tweeted.
If India’s new policy is to retaliate against terrorist groups such as JeM in mainland Pakistan (not just in Kashmir), then Balakot is unambiguously bad news for Pakistan. It suggests that what was safe yesterday may be unsafe tomorrow. Recognizing this is just common sense. 3/3— Sadanand Dhume (@dhume) March 4, 2019
Another journalist Manu Pubby said he found the article very strange as it did not even mention the (official) Indian claim that a Lockheed Martin F-16 went down in the dogfight.
"Not suggesting it should be validated or taken as gospel but find the missing mention odd," Pubby noted.
One defence columnist observed, "New York Times at it again. We struck targets which eliminated terrorists, a vintage MiG-21 shoots down an F-16 but it thinks we can't fight a war", Yusuf Unjhawala, defence columnist and editor of the Indian Defence Forum, tweeted.
.@nytimes is a habitual India basher, but in this case, it may have to do with the general western analysts’ misconception about Indian Armed Forces & what we can do despite our “vintage” weaponry. Pakis actually understand better, that’s why the alleged low nuke threshold. 😜— Yusuf Unjhawala 🇮🇳 (@YusufDFI) March 4, 2019
This isn’t just abysmal reporting. It’s also a reminder that the Indian side has failed to get its story across to the international media “After India Loses Dogfight to Pakistan, Questions Arise About Its ‘Vintage’ Military via @NYTimes” #airstrikes https://t.co/LnPApHCBe1
— Seema Goswami (@seemagoswami) March 4, 2019
Is US media @nytimes hiding the failure of F16, and how u can claim India loose in dogfight, where it shoot down latest F16 through Vintage Russian fighter.@ippatel @DrGPradhan @AskAnshul https://t.co/ivebcKMO57
— lemont (@thelemont) March 4, 2019
Nevertheless, the NYT report did lend some ammunition to Pakistan to launch a tirade of attacks against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Modi has destroyed the Indian image, respect and myth of being regional power. World has noticed the Indian humiliation. Morale of IAF and Indian armed forces is at an all-time low. Pakistan and its armed forces have earned global respect", Zaid Hamid, a Soviet-Afghan war veteran and national security analyst said.
Modi has destroyed the Indian image, respect & myth of being regional power.— Zaid Hamid (@ZaidZamanHamid) March 4, 2019
World has noticed the Indian humiliation. Morale of IAF & Indian armed forces is at an all time low.
Pakistan & it's armed forces have earned global respect#PakistanStrikesBackhttps://t.co/smRo35tnzo
Very soon Indian media will say @nytimes works for the ISI….. the times we live in….
After India Loses Dogfight to Pakistan, Questions Arise About Its ‘Vintage’ Military https://t.co/ssCGtWba0c — Fakhr-e-Alam (@falamb3) March 4, 2019
In a clash that marked India's retaliation against a 14 February suicide attack on a paramilitary convoy that killed at least 40 soldiers, the Indian Air Force shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 using its MiG-21 Bison on 27 February. The Indian Air Force later displayed parts of an AMRAAM medium-range missile that was recovered in the Indian-administered part of Kashmir, alleging that they had been launched by a US-made jet.