ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has said that India is leading a vicious propaganda campaign against Pakistan with the help of fake social media accounts.

Addressing a press conference accompanied by National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf on Wednesday, he said certain internal elements were also involved in spreading fake Indian trends on social media deliberately or unintentionally.

The minister said an organised hybrid media warfare had been initiated against Pakistan. Some 845 fake websites were spreading disinformation against Pakistan and the campaign was spearheaded by Indian news agency ANI, he added.

Mr Chaudhry said certain foreign elements were involved in fanning hatred and violence in Pakistan.

He said the campaign involving Afghanistan supported by some foreign countries was also mainly aimed at triggering communal hatred, linguistic conflicts and violence in Pakistan. India had used its vast network for Websites to give credence to fake news-based trends by the Pashtoon Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) and Baloch separatists, he said, adding that the PTM got support from India.

Says campaign involving Afghanistan aimed at triggering communal violence

Some of the Indian trends were #State KilledKarimaBaloch; #StateKiledUsmanKakar and #RapistArmyBalochistan, while Israeli attempts were former Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Zulfi Bukhari’s visit to Israel.

The minister said Indian TV channels recently uploaded multi-hour videos propagating that Pakistan was not safe for women by quoting Noor Mukaddam case. Ironically the alleged murderer of Noor had already been arrested, he added.

He said the Digital Data Wing of the ministry of information had prepared a detailed analytical Report from June 2019 to August 2021, in which it has elaborated how the social media was being used against Pakistan.

Unfortunately majority of the social media trends were led by India by using people from within the country, he said, adding that the PTM had harnessed over 150 anti-state social media trends. A total of 3.7 million tweets were against Pakistan. Anti-state trends for over 1,000 hours by the PTM and the majority of these tweets supported Baloch separatists.

On August 14 last year, some 150,000 anti-state trends against Pakistan were tweeted from India on #Balochistansolidarityday - the target of some 145,000 tweets were from Pakistan. The target was Pakistan Army.

Senator Usman Kakar died of brain hemorrhage, but India spread dis-informative trends on social media stating that #StateKillsUsman. Over 2,000 tweets were from social media accounts of India. Media wings of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) participated in the campaign to spread confusion.

A social media campaign was launched with over 10,000 tweets stating that Zulfi Bukhari had visited Israel with #ZulfiBukharis visit to Israel. Unfortunately, the social media wings of the PML-N and JUI-F also intentionally or unintentionally played their role in spreading the Israeli trend.

Another trend titled #RejectKillPolicy was launched propagating that Asad Khan Achakzai of the Awami National Party was killed, while he was killed in a dacoity attempt. Surprisingly, the tweets of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan were supported by 400,000 tweets from India. The Indian contribution in another trend #ExposeProQadiyani Minister was over 122,000 tweets.

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2021

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