MUZFFARABAD: Two Kashmiri activists accused India’s mainstream media on Sunday of “constantly publishing and airing baseless reports” about Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to defame Pakistan.

“We are shocked to notice how brazenly an Indian newspaper has used a picture of our anti-India demonstration in Muzaffarabad and presented it as an anti-Pakistan protest,” said Uzair Ahmed Ghazali of the Pabsan-i-Hurriat Jammu Kashmir at a press conference along with Hamid Jamil of the Refugee Welfare Organisation and other activists.

The Facebook page of The New Indian Express used on Saturday a picture of Mr Ghazali and Mr Jamil chanting slogans. The caption was: “Anti-Pakistan protest erupts in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.”

Showing the printout of that page to reporters, Mr Ghazali said it was a picture of a five-year-old anti-India demonstration they had organised in Muzaffarabad to condemn invasion of Kashmir carried out by India on Oct 27, 1947.

“Indian media outlets are hell bent upon establishing that anti-Pakistan sentiments are on the rise in AJK, in the worst breach of media ethics,” Mr Ghazali said.

He said visuals from different areas and occasions were being used to create a negative impression about AJK.

He said another Indian media outlet had used visuals of the ongoing Rangers’ operations against hardened criminals in Karachi and described them as from the AJK.

“They can hoodwink a section of their population but not the international community, let alone the Kashmiris on either side of the divide,” he said.

Mr Ghazali said that even in doctored video clips the Indian media had failed to air a single sound bite in favour of India and its unlawful rule in Kashmir.

“There are some people in Kashmir who want its accession with Pakistan and there are others who want its independence... But no-one supports India...” There was complete unanimity among both the groups about India’s eviction from the disputed region, he said.

“Pakistan is the advocate of our cause and it runs in the blood of Kashmiris. Anti-Pakistan sentiments in Kashmiris could be a wish of the Indian government and media but not the reality,” he said.

Mr Jamil said Indian media outlets had been tasked to show doctored clips about AJK in order to divert attention from the reign of terror let loose by its troops in the held territory.

He urged Pakistani media to counter the baseless propaganda by Indian media on Kashmir. “They show doctored clips, you need to show the reality,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2015

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