“Scroll gives space to Pakistani author to blame India for tensions between the two countries,” claimed pro-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) propaganda website OpIndia in a piece from October 6, 2020.

The author referred to in the article is Jawed Naqvi and OpIndia’s basis for claiming his Pakistani nationality is his association with Pakistan-based newspaper Dawn. Naqvi is the New Delhi correspondent for the English language daily.

Scroll republished Naqvi’s article in Dawn on former Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh. “What if Jaswant Singh had been allowed to achieve peace between India and Pakistan?” is the title of the report which speaks about the Agra Summit of July 2001 between ex-Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. The article was published after Singh’s passing on September 27 where Naqvi argued that the ex-foreign minister’s draft pact between the South Asian nations, “torpedoed” by former Home Minister LK Advani, “could have saved India and Pakistan an endless need to procure military hardware at prohibitive costs to their poverty-stricken masses.”

“But it’s only in the clown world that we live in that India is blamed for apparently not allowing a peace deal to go through,” wrote OpIndia furthering, “But a Pakistani journalist cannot be expected to concede such basic truths. Unable to accept such obvious facts, it is only to be expected that a Pakistani journalist would clutch at straws to absolve the military-political establishment of his own country.”

Fact-check

OpIndia’s claim that Jawed Naqvi is ‘Pakistani’ is untrue. In a telephonic conversation with Alt News, he confirmed his Indian nationality. He has been associated with Dawn for the past 22 years and is based out of Delhi. He used to work with Reuters.

A 2018 interview of Naqvi with journalist Megha Maharishi lays out the former’s career span. “Jawed Naqvi is a former Chief Reporter of Gulf News and News Editor of Khaleej Times, and a veteran journalist who has also worked for many years with Reuters in Delhi…He writes as the New Delhi correspondent for the Karachi Dawn and freelances for the Dhaka New Age. He also occasionally writes for Tehelka and appears as an analyst for TV channels.”

Naqvi’s citizenship has been questioned in the past as well. Journalist Aatish Taseer, critical of the Modi government, is also frequently targetted with similar misinformation.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.