The entire left-liberal ecosystem in the country has been constantly trying to corner the Modi government with one issue- Pegasus software and uncorroborated snooping allegations.
When it comes to propaganda against India, NYT somehow always ends up becoming a part of the entire process. This time an NYT report on the matter turned out to be so abominable that it has been condemned by none other than ex-diplomat Syed Akbaruddin.
NYT conjures up a Pegasus spyware deal
In its report titled, “The Battle for the World’s Most Powerful Cyberweapon,” NYT stated, “Though the Israeli government’s oversight was meant to prevent the powerful spyware from being used in repressive ways, Pegasus has been sold to Poland, Hungary and India, despite those countries’ questionable records on human rights.”
Now, NYT is used to making such ridiculously misleading remarks against India. So, one doesn’t care.
But the American newspaper also stated, “In July 2017, Narendra Modi, who won office on a platform of Hindu nationalism, became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel. For decades, India had maintained a policy of what it called “commitment to the Palestinian cause,” and relations with Israel were frosty. The Modi visit, however, was notably cordial, complete with a carefully staged moment of him and Prime Minister Netanyahu walking together barefoot on a local beach. They had a reason for the warm feelings. Their countries had agreed on the sale of a package of sophisticated weapons and intelligence gear worth roughly $2 billion — with Pegasus and a missile system as the centrepieces.”
It added, “Months later, Netanyahu made a rare state visit to India. And in June 2019, India voted in support of Israel at the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council to deny observer status to a Palestinian human rights organization, a first for the nation.”
The use of conjectures is perplexing here. The newspaper connected PM Modi’s Israel visit with a make-believe spyware deal and former Israeli PM Netanyahu’s India visit to a vote at the United Nations.
Syed Akbaruddin himself came out to call a spade a spade. Without mincing any words about the NYT report, he said, “The insinuation about India’s UN vote is utter rubbish…”
The insinuation about India’s UN vote is utter rubbish… https://t.co/lTdRWJ5e3c
— Syed Akbaruddin (@AkbaruddinIndia) January 29, 2022
Insinuation about India’s UN vote is erroneous… pic.twitter.com/QJ1zIA9hjm
— Syed Akbaruddin (@AkbaruddinIndia) January 30, 2022
Appearing on NDTV, Akbaruddin said that there was no link between the $2 billion India-Israel deal that NYT claims to have involved Pegasus spyware and India’s vote at the United Nations.
The former Indian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN said that the vote was a “low-level issue”. He also said that no one from New Delhi, Israel or Palestine contacted the Indian mission in New York at the time of the vote in 2019.
Akbaruddin said, “Our (India and Israel) ties had improved. There is no doubt about that. It was visible to everybody at the UN. I have written in my book that Israel endorsed an Indian judge to the ICJ (International Court of Justice). This was in 2017. This was open knowledge that our ties were warming up. Where interests coincide, certainly states will work together. I don’t think there is anything to hide about it… I don’t think that’s a linkage. I must say The New York Times on this thing erred and erred egregiously.”
He added, “It was a rather mundane case of a Palestinian NGO… and initially everybody didn’t have a problem with it. At that time, several countries came out and said they had found some linkages which were not highlighted by the NGO during the initial submission.”
Akbaruddin, who hasn’t lost the art of using diplomatic flair to counter propaganda, also said, “I am a little surprised that The New York Times picks up a disparate vote on a small NGO and links it to a bigger story. I have no idea about the bigger story. I was the permanent representative in New York.”
Pegasus campaign falls flat on its face, yet again
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections are just ten days away now. The left-liberal ecosystem is therefore desperate to find something against PM Modi.
Pegasus snooping allegations have been central to the Modi hating cabal for quite some time. But the propaganda surrounding the matter falls flat on its face time and again. It has become something like the Rafale issue, which was the only thing that PM Modi’s opponents could talk about before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections but could never prove any wrongdoing in the matter.
The Pegasus spyware allegations too, seem baseless. There is absolutely no proof that the government was spying upon journalists and politicians.
And to link Indo-Israel friendship with snooping allegations is a big mistake. People of India love Israel because Israel has always respected and cooperated with India. The outdated diplomatic policy of showing “commitment to the Palestinian cause”, wasn’t very popular anyway.
The Pegasus spyware allegations have fallen flat on their face again and are all set to turn counter-productive for the opposition.