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Indian Fake News Factories

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Adeel Mukhtar

The Indians are crossing each and every limit to malign Pakistan. A few months back, a galaxy of Indian fake news website were uncovered by a European watchdog. Brussels-based EU DisinfoLab “discovered 265 bogus media outlets in 65 countries that are managed by what it calls an ‘Indian influence network’, which has in recent months tried to whitewash India’s annexation of disputed Kashmir territory.” While investigating the case, the DisinfoLab found that “the fake websites copy-pasted anti-Pakistan content from unusual press agencies and amplified material shared by politicians and obscure think tanks that supported Indian geopolitical interests.” Many websites were also linked to various groups pertaining to human rights, making it difficult for the general public to differentiate between valid and fake information.

The main purpose of these websites were the propagation of propaganda against Pakistan. According to an article by ‘TRT World’, “A cursory look at some of these websites shows that they disproportionately report on the treatment of minorities in Pakistan including the problems in insurgency-hit Balochistan province.”  According to the DisInfo Lab’s database, “under the garb of names such as The American Weekly, Times of Bulgaria and Times of Cyprus, this network tries to give itself a cover of legitimacy.” Interestingly, most of these also has social media accounts. Indian intelligence agencies Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) attempted to use money and disinformation to covertly influence Canadian politicians and falsely link Pakistan and its diaspora with “terrorism” through well-funded lobbying, according Canadian intelligence agencies. “It was in September 2017 when Geo News for the first time exposed how Indian spy agencies were involved in targeting Pakistan through fake campaigns and fake people, using heavy funding. In three investigative articles in The News and a 12-minute report on Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath, evidence of India’s dirty campaigning against Pakistan was laid bare.”

The main thrust of these propaganda machines are the alleged human rights abuses in Pakistan. However, human rights are much more secure in Pakistan than in India. Recently, India has come under tremendous pressure in the Gulf and international community due to Islamophobia and hate speech against Arab culture, which India is trying to deflect. As indicated by the latest the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) report, however, India took a sharp descending turn in 2019. The national government utilized its majority parliament to initiate national-level strategies disregarding basic human rights across India, particularly for Muslims. Most strikingly, it instituted the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which gives a most optimized plan of attack to Indian citizenship for non-Muslim transients from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan previously dwelling in India. The national and different state governments additionally permitted across the nation crusades of badgering and brutality against strict minorities to proceed without risk of punishment.

The ongoing situation in Indian armed forces, particularly concerning its threats towards Pakistan on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) is the result of fanatic Hindu activist outfits of Hindutva philosophy that are currently joined under the umbrella of administering BJP government and the Indian armed force and this nexus of shades of malice is not just undermining Pakistan however is surfacing as a significant danger to regional harmony. Army-Hindutva nexus was also uncovered by Samjhota Express assault, Malegaon assault and Mecca Masjid assault.

Since the death of Burhan Wani, in 2016, Indian forces, faced with the unprecedented level of resistance from indigenous populace, have resorted to the extreme facets of coercion to suppress and malign purely indigenous movement. Uses of pellet guns have become a new normal in the valley. Thousands of children and young people have suffered irredeemable injuries, with Hiba Nisar, a 19-month old toddler, the youngest one to lose complete sight. In this context, people in Kashmir are deeply agitated and hostility towards occupant forces is higher than ever before. Given the fact that Kashmiris have lost their faith in rigged political process, their identity is largely compromised, attempts are being made to bring demographic changes in the region, Kashmir is having been pushed to find new channels to fight against heinous designs of occupant forces. In sum, Indian Army is notorious for human Rights violations, even today Occupied Kashmir is locked down since 270 days, India cannot hide its shame.

Pakistan has been a staunch supporter of human rights and strongly supports the right of self-determination of Kashmiris. The Foreign Office of Pakistan also spoke against the killings of innocent Kashmiris by India and every forum available. Furthermore, Pakistan Army follows high standards of military traditions, and is acknowledged as the most contributing Army to United Nations Peace Keeping Operations (UNPKO) in the world. In this context, international community should take notice of India’s increasing psychological operations against Pakistan, through any means available.

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