ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif’s veiled nuclear threat on Israel in response to a fake news has become a headline in major media outlets globally.
“Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak role in Syria against Daesh. Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too,” Kh Asif tweeted Friday.
The defence minister’s tweet in response to a news item published on a website awdnews.com on Dec 20, subtly threatened Israel of a nuclear attack.
The report, quoting Israeli Defence Minister said: “If Pakistan send ground troops into Syria on any pretext, we will destroy this country with a nuclear attack”.
The Israeli Defence Ministry too replied to the Pakistani minister.
This created a stir in the media and social media and has been in debate since then.
A top New Zealand news website www.stuff.co.nz reported: Pakistani minister directs nuclear threat at Israel after reading fake news
The Israeli media too reported the matter. Major daily Haaretz commented that a false news article making the rounds on social media could potentially have had a devastating result: nuclear war.
Israel Radio said on Saturday that Asif was responding to a fake news story on the website AWDnews.com, which falsely reported that Israel responded to a Pakistani promise to send troops to Syria with a threat of nuclear attack.
The unfounded story even mistakenly attributes the threat to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon who left the Defense Ministry in May and was replaced by Avigdor Liberman.
In the United States, where fake news has been a matter of concern since Donald Trump’s surprise election win and the role of social media in spreading false news, The New York Times reported Kh Asif’s tweet as ‘a saber-rattling Twitter post directed at Israel on Friday after a false report’.
The tweet has since then been retweeted over 450 times and liked by over 800 people.