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Border Security Force on patrol in Jammu and Kashmir. (Reuters)
Border Security Force on patrol in Jammu and Kashmir. (Reuters)

Beyond the Twitter wars

  • Tensions have been running high on either side of the border, and, as with everything else these days, this has been reflected on social media platforms, especially Twitter
  • Follow these handles for context and news on the India-Pakistan stand-off

On 26 February, the Indian Air Force targeted a training camp of the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The next day, the Pakistan air force retaliated, and, in the ensuing air skirmish, an Indian MiG 21 jet was downed across the Line of Control, and the pilot taken captive by the Pakistani army. Tensions have been running high on either side of the border, and, as with everything else these days, this has been reflected on social media platforms, especially Twitter. But beyond the rhetoric, the grandstanding and trolling, some Twitter users have been putting their knowledge and expertise to good use. Here are four non-media Twitter handles that you can follow for verified news updates and analysis on this developing situation.

Raveesh Kumar, official spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs, India (@MEAIndia)

Kumar’s handle is a good place to start, given the unverified news and rumours flying about. Kumar tweets official statements from the Union government regarding ongoing developments, as well as statements released by other countries regarding the present situation.

Srinath Raghavan,professor at Ashoka University and senior fellow at Carnegie India (@srinathraghava3)

A former soldier and diplomat, Raghavan has been following the developments closely. He tweets regularly on subjects such as India’s long-term policy objectives and the cons of escalation. His retweets of other policy perspectives, including those he doesn’t agree with, help provide a comprehensive picture.

Vipin Narang,associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (@NarangVipin)

Narang’s area of expertise is nuclear strategy and proliferation, and he uses this to analyse the situation. Apart from his own views on nuclear policy and negotiations, he also retweets other experts’ views on nuclear stability and fears of nuclear escalation.

Ajai Shukla, expert on strategic affairs, defence and diplomacy (@ajaishukla)

Shukla’s Twitter timeline is a good place not just for foreign policy-related posts and retweets, but also for putting Indian politics in context. As a former colonel with the Indian Army, he also provides insights on defence preparedness and Indian military hardware.


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