Some Indian TV channels have posted a video allegedly confirming the participation of the Pakistani military in the fighting in Afghanistan on the side of the Taliban. Later it turned out that these are footage from the ARMA 3 computer game.
About it writes Indian fact-checking project Alt News.
One of the first videos was shown by the Indian right-wing channel Republic TV. Commenting on the video, the presenter spoke about “Exclusive staff”, which confirm that Pakistan Air Force Attacked Panjshir Valley.
A similar video was later shown by other channels, in particular TV9 Bharatvarsh, India Today, Times Now Navbharat and Zee News. writes edition of The Print.
India and Pakistan are long-standing rivals; clashes and clashes occur regularly on the border of the two countries, sometimes with victims. In addition, Islamabad is accused of supporting the Taliban (it was in Pakistan that it actually appeared). Therefore, the Indian media used the recent hostilities in Panjshir as an excuse to confirm this thesis.
Panjshir province is of great strategic importance as it connects the northern and southern provinces of Afghanistan, and is also located next to the strategic highway connecting Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif, one of the largest Afghan cities. The Taliban claim to have taken control of the province, but the resistance movement there denies this.
The source of the video was named Hasti TV – allegedly “The only Afghan TV channel in the UK that serves the interests of the Afghan and Iranian diaspora in the UK and the rest of the world.”
Alt News suggests that the Indian media picked up the video following a tweet by counterterrorism expert Faran Jeffrey. He, however, later wrotethat the video is actually from a video game and is being distributed by accounts associated with the Taliban resistance movement.
Shots from the video game ARMA 3 on the air of Indian TV channels were recognized by dozens of Twitter users. After they wrote about it, the TV channels removed the videos. Republic TV wrotewhat did it do when the TV channel “Reported inaccuracy in the video.”
ARMA 3 is a tactical military shooter developed and published by Czech company Bohemia Interactive in 2013. The video game is known for its realistic rendering of landscapes, land and water textures. Therefore, it is probably not the first time that ARMA 3 has become the object of fakes.
For example, in 2017, the Turkish TV channel A Haber gave out footage from the game for the video of the special operation of the Turkish military against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. And in 2020 the already mentioned TV9 Bharatvarsh gave out a scene from the shooter behind the scenes of the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh.