It seems news makers do not get enough of Rafale. And if they don’t have genuine stories, they need to manufacture something around it, perhaps in the hope of generating some negative sentiments among the people in the poll season.
A case pertaining to the deal signed by the NDA government with the maker of French fighter jet is still in the Supreme Court, as a result of “tireless investigative job” by veteran journalists and activists to “pin point lapses” in the deal. But the first batch of Rafale jets is set to arrive in India this September. The advanced weaponized jets are expected to boost the strength of Indian Air Force immensely.
However, a news story about Pakistani pilots trained on Rafale jets started making rounds on Thursday under titles, such as “Should India worry?”
“As India awaits the arrival of its first Rafale fighter jet in September this year, a worrying bit of news has caused consternation – that Pakistani pilots were trained to fly the ace French fighter jets for Qatar,” Outlook magazine wrote in an article.
Referring to Aviation International News, the article said, “The first batch pilots trained for Qatar in November 2017 were Pakistani exchange officers”.
It quoted two tweets, one each from NCP leader Dr Jitendra Awhad and NDTV Defence Editor Vishnu Som. While Som called it bad news, Awad claimed Qatar bought Rafale for a third of what India has agreed to pay.
Moments later French Ambassador to India Alexan Ziegler put out a tweet that the news was fake.