Pakistanis agitated over ‘Indian airstrike’ on Fort Abbas

A Pakistani UAV that violated the Indian airspace, entering Rajasthan, was shot down, with its debris falling on the sand dunes of MW Toba, sources in the Indian defence forces say

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MW Toba Fort Abbas

New Delhi: “Fort Abbas” trended today on Twitter, thanks to thousands of users of the medium from Pakistan getting agitated over unconfirmed reports on some media outlets of their country that said the place, across the international border along Rajasthan, was bombed in a fresh Indian airstrike. As ‘proof’, the Pakistani media furnished photographs of used munition on a stretch that looked like a desert.

Tweets like the above were based on Pakistani media reports and certain tweets by Pakistani journalists.

Of course, a section of the Pakistani media was not sure what it was talking about. Sample the following mutually contradictory ‘reports’ from a given Pakistani media house.

Earlier, some reporters who work along the borders, often filing stories based on sources in Indian defence forces, had circulated photographs of the alleged Indian strike on the messaging mobile application WhatsApp.

Lending further credence to the rumour, some Indian journalists tweeted about it although they attributed Pakistanis as the source of the ‘information’.

Fort Abbas happens to be one of the places where Pakistani authorities recently asked the terrorists it sponsors to move to. This made the story about Fort Abbas sound credible.

There has been no statement issued on the subject by the IAF. However, sources in the Indian defence forces say that a Pakistani UAV that was hovering in the Indian airspace was shot down.

To be precise, it was not Fort Abbas. Sources say what appeared like a Pakistani drone had violated the Indian airspace at around 11:30 AM, crossing the international border along Rajasthan.

Sources say some IAF jets scrambled in response and engaged the flying object with an air-to-air missile.

The debris of the ‘drone’ fell near a Pakistani sand dune known as MW Toba.

Indian Twitter users saw the ‘news’ of another airstrike in Pakistan as a demonstration of Pakistani paranoia. Soon, some of them started mocking Pakistanis with GIF images and satirical tweets.

India had indeed hit Pakistan with an airstrike that hit Balakot of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were reported to be receiving training. This followed the JeM’s suicide-bomb strike on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama of Jammu and Kashmir that killed more than 40 jawans. Estimates of the Pakistani casualty in Balakot range between 300 and 350 terrorists.