Wednesday Oct 21, 2020
The Pakistani Twitter community had a field day mocking and ridiculing Indian media after it was discovered that even established media outlets across the border had been peddling fake news about an imaginary civil war in Karachi.
Perhaps getting a little carried away by the goings-on in Pakistan's biggest port city, Indian media manufactured an entire civil war complete with pitched gun battles between rival forces, bombings and an imaginary area in Karachi called, quite ridiculously, 'Gulshan-e-Bagh' (the two words mean the same thing in Urdu, like 'naan bread' and 'chai tea').
Before we get to Pakistanis' reactions to the frankly absurd trend, here's a brief look at how Indian Twitter users and their media were reporting:
Established Indian news channel CNN News 18 claimed that the army had taken over all police stations in Karachi.
OpIndia claimed Pakistan was in "civil war mode".
One former Indian major and a member of India's ruling party claimed that "10 civilians were killed".
Times Now claimed protests were held as well.
An advocate of the Indian Supreme Court said that an army-police clash had broken out, adding that that many officers had died.
This Indian user also created a new locality in Karachi just to spread the fake news.
As Pakistanis got over the initial surprise of apparently being in the middle of a civil war they knew nothing about, many slammed Indian Twitter users and media for spreading fake news and attempting to create divisions.
Here's how Pakistanis responded:
Lawyer and activist Reema Omer called out Times Now for passing off "sensationalist fiction" as news.
This user just couldn't help point out the ridiculousness of a place named Gulshan-e-Bagh.
Bina Shah, a writer and New York Times columnist, commented that she had just returned from doing her groceries and "couldn't find" the civil war.
Even non-Pakistanis couldn't help but call out the Indian media for spreading lies.
Journalist Shaheen Sehbai simply said Indian TV has gone "berserk".
One user took the Indian media's fantasies a bit further, saying "Captain America" had also been seen fighting on the streets of Karachi.
Obviously, people could not get over the Gulshan-e-Bagh tweet and turned it into a fun game.
Perhaps attempting to further confuse the Indians, journalist Mubashir Zaidi suggested that the situation was "very serious" at Bombay Bakery (which is famous for its cakes) and Delhi Sweet House (famous for sweetmeats).
And, finally, journalist and TV host Zarrar Khuhro saw the silver lining amid all that has happened in the past couple of days.