Revelations about Indian disinformation network vindicate Pakistan’s stance: PM Imran

Published December 10, 2020
In this picture taken on May 24, 2018, Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during an interview with AFP at his home in Islamabad. — AFP
In this picture taken on May 24, 2018, Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during an interview with AFP at his home in Islamabad. — AFP

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that the recent revelations regarding an Indian disinformation network made in a report by a Brussels-based group had "vindicated Pakistan's position and exposed its detractors".

The premier's comments come a day after a report was published by EU DisinfoLab, which uncovered a “vast network of fake media outlets, think tanks and NGOs serving Indian interests”.

In a new investigation, titled Indian Chronicles, the group has exposed another Indian network that aims to reinforce pro-Indian and anti-Pakistan (and anti-Chinese) feelings in India.

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"Pakistan has consistently drawn the attention of the international community towards India's subversive activities to undermine democracies in the region and export/ fund extremism through structures of fake news organisations and 'think tanks'," the premier said.

"Recently, the government of Pakistan provided a dossier to the United Nations of India's state terrorism in Pakistan," he said.

Read: Specific proof of Indian terrorism in Pakistan unveiled

"The international community needs to take notice of a rogue Indian regime that now threatens the stability of the global system," he said.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also addressed the report in a tweet, saying the neighbouring country's actions were powered by "fascist ideals" that "even put Goebbels to shame",

FO condemns Indian 'mass propaganda campaign'

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday condemned what it described as India’s systematic tactic of a mass propaganda campaign to malign Pakistan and international institutions.

Addressing a press conference, FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri denounced India's actions outlined in the report as “mischievous”, adding that they reflected a “pre-occupation with maligning Pakistan”.

He added that all such attempts were “doomed to fail [because] Pakistan has already put forth irrefutable evidence, extensively documenting India’s active planning, promoting, aiding, abetting, financing and executing terrorist activities in Pakistan.”

The report is a vindication for Pakistan and “substantiates Pakistan’s position in front of the International community”, said Chaudhri.

The FO spokesperson also urged the Indian government to “eschew the use of false propaganda” as part of its state policy towards neighbouring states.

“By spreading such falsehoods, India can neither cast a shadow on the international stature of Pakistan nor can [it] divert the attention of the international community from India's horrendous human rights record.”

Indian 'fake' news network exposed

On Wednesday, the EU DisinfoLab published its latest report, titled "Indian Chronicles", which describes an Indian disinformation network operating since 2005 to discredit nations in conflict with Delhi, particularly Pakistan. The network aims to reinforce pro-Indian and anti-Pakistan (and anti-Chinese) feelings in India.

Internationally, the network is working to consolidate the power and improve the image of India and damage reputation of rival countries so that ultimately India may benefit from more support from international institutions such as the European Union and the United Nations.

To do so, the network used fake personas of a dead human rights activist and journalists, and also tried to impersonate regular media and press agencies such as the EU Observer, the Economist and Voice of America.

Overall, an entire network of over 500 fake local media outlets in 95 countries helped reproduce negative iterations about Pakistan (or China). In total, the operation has covered 116 countries and nine regions.

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