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December 11, 2010

Pak papers retract fake WikiLeaks report

National

A
APP
December 11, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Leading Pakistani newspapers on Friday retracted an explosive story that used fake US diplomatic cables to brand Indian generals “genocidal” and accuse New Delhi of sponsoring militants.
The News claimed on Thursday that cables released by WikiLeaks showed Indian spies were supporting Islamist militants in Pakistan’s northwest tribal region of Waziristan and the southwestern province of Balochistan.
Datelined from Washington, the newspaper said how US diplomats thought of one Indian general as “incompetent” and a “geek”, and of another as “self-obsessed, petulant and idiosyncratic” and “barely tolerated” by subordinates.
It likened another to late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic “with regard to butchering Muslims through war crimes” in Indian-held Kashmir. But on Friday The News wrote, “On further inquiries, we learnt from our sources that the story was dubious and may have been planted.”
The News said the report originated from some local websites “known for their close connections with certain intelligence agencies”. A variety of Pakistani newspapers carried the report on Thursday, crediting the story to the Islamabad-based Online news agency, where a receptionist on Friday refused to put through telephone calls from AFP to senior editors. Another English language daily also published a front-page retraction, saying it “deeply regrets publishing this story without due verification and apologises profusely for any inconvenience”.

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