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.
The condemnation comes a day after a report was published by Brussels-based EU DisinfoLab, which according to the FO, uncovered a “vast network of fake media outlets, think tanks and NGOs serving Indian interests”.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, 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.”
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”,
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.