Fake media campaigns on Kashmir and Afghanistan have been going on for years now, creating a false narrative which has no connection with reality. These fake campaigns are disseminated through many fake websites, YouTube channels, newspapers and magazines. Many `mainstream` news media outlets are also part of Pakistan Army’s psy-war campaign against India … writes Rifan Ahmed Khan
Prime Minister Imran Khan is planning an Islamic channel with the support of Turkey and Malaysia. The prime minister will get a media plan from all-weather friend China to formulate the strategy. There will be only one item on agenda. Defame India. After failing in all kinds of psy-war operations, Pakistan has launched a fake-news war on India, faking identities of senior government and military officials, putting up fake Twitter and other social media handles in a desperate bid to create confusion.
The recent case of fake Twitter handles of several senior Indian Army Generals, including that of the Chief of Army Staff, Bipin Rawat, is part of this devious game to spread disinformation on the social media. Although these Twitter accounts have since been shut down by the operator, the attempt clearly shows Pakistan’s blatant but pathetic attempts to mislead people.
In the past, Pakistan has tried this dirty trick through various other media means. Through tightly controlled television channels and newspapers, Pakistan has been spreading canard across the world. This fake news war has been an integral part of Pakistan Army’s terrorist sponsoring policies. To camouflage its terrorist agenda, the Army has for long been spinning tall stories about how it was being wrongly accused of sponsoring terrorist groups within the country. It unleashed a fake news blitzkrieg on terrorism that hoodwinked a large part of the international community till al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was found hiding, with the connivance of Pakistan, in well-furnished home in the garrison town of Abbottabad.
Our meeting in which we decided to set up a BBC type English language TV Channel that, apart from highlighting Muslim issues, will also fight Islamophobia. pic.twitter.com/GA6o15oJFH
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 30, 2019
Similar fake media campaigns on Kashmir and Afghanistan have been going on for years now, creating a false narrative which has no connection with reality. These fake campaigns are disseminated through many fake websites, YouTube channels, newspapers and magazines. Many `mainstream` news media outlets are also part of the Army’s psy-war campaign.
There have been media reports in Pakistan how the state had been patronising journalists for managing the news flow. In 2013, on the orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan, the government was forced to reveal the names of 282 journalists who received payments and gifts from the government, many on the recommendation of the Army. The disbursements in this case totalled Rs 1.77 billion. Another 155 journalists were on the list released subsequently.
The Army also runs several social media sites to project its “good“ image, smudge the reputation of political parties and leaders who are not in the good books of the Generals. Similar social media handles have been created to spread the fake news far and wide.