Jang Group Promotes Sensational PNS Mehran Conspiracy Theory

May 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Conspiracy Theories, Jang, The News

A front page article in The News by Mayed Ali that claims to report on the assault on PNS Mehran on Sunday night, but after listing details about the combat radius and onboard radar of the destroyed Orion aircraft the reporter ventures into the land of Hollywood movie-style conspiracy plots.

However, it is believed, the exact info on the details of the complex, which is not visible otherwise, the hangar and the aircraft suggests the plan just cannot be a work of amateur terrorists. The way the entire mission was executed, the sources in Pakistan Navy believe, it seems some specialists must have worked on the plan quite extensively. Moreover, the ex-Navy officials were of the view it was an inside job, implying that someone from within had provided vital information to saboteurs for the mission. And, if the investigation zeroes in on the possibility of sabotage from outside, the RAW (Research and Analysis Wing), Mossad (Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations) or even the CIA (Central Investigation Agency) could be a suspect. Interestingly, in such a scenario, the US technicians, working on the new Orions, might have to be interrogated.

Notice that this conspiracy is pure speculation, which the reporter reveals through the careful use of conditional words such as “if” and “could be”. Actually, the initial claim of this conspiracy is not even attributed to an “official source”, rather the reporter simply claims that “it is believed…” Believed by who? We do not know.

The conspiracy blaming the PNS Mehran attack on CIA is particularly weak when one considers that premises that it is based on: Americans were on the base and knew the maintenance-cycle of the Orions. As Mayed Ali reports, there were seven Americans on the base. But there were eleven Chinese also, and as as the reporter also notes, “the attackers did not touch any other aircraft (Fokker) or helicopter (Chinese ZA-6) parked in the same vicinity”. Based on this information, one could just as easily speculate that the operation was carried out by Chinese intelligence to drive a wedge between America and Pakistan. Of course, if you believe this alternative conspiracy theory you would be just as foolish, for there is no evidence for this either.

Unfortunately, this is not the only article from Jang Group that promotes this baseless conspiracy theory. On page 2 of The News reporter Shakeel Anjum goes beyond his colleague’s pure speculation and quotes unnamed “senior intelligence sources” as saying that the attack was “accomplished by RAW certainly with the consent of CIA and a group of al-Qaeda”. Furthermore, according to this anonymous source, “a group of al-Qaeda and Taliban got training in a base camp of RAW in Afghanistan”.

Shakeel Anjum admits that the evidence is “circumstantial”, but even this requires readers to believe that any evidence exists at all. Obviously, none of this evidence is actually presented for readers to judge for themselves. Rather, they must accept the word of an unnamed “intelligence source” – not even an intelligence official.

But most important to consider is that believing this conspiracy theory requires that one believe the following statement: US, India, Taliban, and al Qaeda are all working together. In order for Jang‘s conspiracy theory to be true, you have to believe that extremist fundamentalist Islamists are conspiring with Hindu nationalists. You also have to believe that Taliban and al Qaeda are both fighting and killing American soldiers and also working with American soldiers.

Dawn reports that an officer-in-charge at the base who spoke with the militants described the attackers as speaking clear Urdu with a local accent. The same report details that the militants tried to kill the Americans on the base who were saved only by bullet proof vehicles. So now Jang Group‘s conspiracy requires us to believe that RAW trained al Qaeda and Taliban militants in Afghanistan and taught them to speak clear Urdu with a Karachi accent. Then RAW and CIA sent these al Qaeda and Taliban militants to PNS Mehran with permission to kill Americans along with Pakistanis.

And while Jang Group published in its English language newspaper a front page story with a slightly more speculative tone and put the more sensational conspiracy on the second page, its Urdu newspaper Jang boldy proclaims the wild conspiracy theory as fact from the front page headlines.

25-5-2011-Daily-Jang

Following the past weeks attacks on the nation’s security forces, people are looking for answers. Government officials and military leaders are holding hearings and announcing investigations into security lapses. Rather than play its role as watch dog and ensuring that the hearings and investigations are carried out openly and honestly, media is spoon feeding the people sensational conspiracy theories that would embarrass a C-grade bollywood screenwriter.

Lage raho media bhai…

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