*Indian Chronicles, Information Weaponisation Against Pakistan*


Islamabad : The Minister for Science and Technology of Pakistan, H.E. Mr. Fawad Chaudry speaking atthat the seminar titled “Indian chronicles: information weaponisation against Pakistan”, held by the South Asia Strategic Studies Institute (SASSI) University, said that Pakistanhas faced and still face a deliberate disinformation campaign by India as the dis-infolab clearly stated Informationwas weaponized to discreditPakistan. The spectrum of the threat faced by us far bigger than we anticipated, however, he highlighted that if we have our version of the truth it has to come out of a joint effort by pour institutions, our think tanks, and the state Ministry of information and state institutions such as the ISPR.A composite response is required because it is not merely information operations but the hybrid warfare and 5th generations war.

The domain forPakistan’s identity we have to sieze this now it is important to realize what Pakistan and India have contributed in the said domain. Pakistan’s counter to Indian propaganda has been insignificant. Pakistan does not require to launch a disinformation campaign on the same level of propaganda against anyone it only requires to generate its narrative to present to the world with Pakistani Nation sacrificing lives for so many years. He suggested that the ISPR and Ministry of Information should work in collaboration for the change of discourse narrative built against Pakistan in the international media to challenge the work of others.

The event focused on the disinformation campaign carried out by India for 15 years against Pakistan.Dr. Maria Sultan while commenting on the nature and character of the campaign carried out by the Indian state intelligence agencies against Pakistan stated that the operation included fake news development against Pakistan in more than 116countries and 9 regions of the world. what was significant was thefact thatactual international organizationssuch as the UN and EU parliament, its members, and its mechanisms were hijacked by theIndian chronicles although more than 750 fake news outlets and more than 550 domain names which not only created an eco cycle around Indian information operations which were than amplified by the Asian news international fake news agencies that created this mass perception against Pakistan.

India formulated a campaign of weaponized information to vilify Pakistan’s efforts for human rights globally, which had begun in 2005 and is continued. For 15 years, India has constantly reported fake news, resurrected dead NGOs and think tanks to organize protests in Brussels and Geneva outside UN bodies. Asian News International (ANI) broadly propagated the malignant forums and their agenda on news media all under the Shrivastava Group in Ind.

The EU Disinfo Lab uncovered a network of 10 UN-credited NGOs that promoted Indian interests working in coordination with non-accredited think tanks and minority rights NGOs in Brussels and Geneva and local actors creating a disinformation campaign against Pakistan citing false atrocities in Baluchistan- leading to Baloch Liberation Movements and recipients’ perception. All this impacted the local actors and international actors, beliefs, and attitudes to malign and disparage Pakistan’s image globally.What is worst that actual actors, as well as students from Pakistani in the European capitals, were used to mask the real intentions and mechanism at play led by India, she stressed. Other panelssuch as Lt General Nasser Khan Janjua, formerNational Security Advisorof Pakistan argued that whenhe entered Baluchistan the 5th insurgency was at play but when he leftthrough a policy of engagement, dialogueand developmentit waschanged withlove to Pakistan. Despite theissues ofgovernance what needs to be understood is thatit isourpeople and wecanchange the narrativeonly through actionon the ground.

Lt Gen Naeem Lohdi former secretary defense of Pakistan stated that Islamabad faced a hybrid war not ofour doing alone but ratherwas howinformation was weaponized tocreateacts on the ground, a hybrid warfor the future where the information domaineither restrictsor enhance thespace for the statetoredefineitsspace of operations. Mr. Shoaib Saddle former inspector general of police and federal Obudsman stated if we have to respond to this we will have to look at ourlaws very carefullybut most importantlybring theactions of the Indian chronicles to questionby taking theissue to the European courts,EU parliament, and the UN. The neteffect of theimpactofthiscannotbe quantified but thedamage to Pakistanhas to beseen only in thecontext of howit has impacted the human rightsofmillionsof Pakistanis. The state has to takeactionand thatitmust be retired.

Mr. MohammadShahid director at the SASSI center forarmament and technology,while technically commentingon the issuing state that Shrivastava Groupwhich was the architectof thiscampaign had direct linkage to the Indianintelligence apparatusalong withthekeygroups who amplified this. The second session of the seminar focused on what is required to change this Dr. Moeed Pirzada executive director of governance and policy Advisorstatedthathe faced allkindsof challengesbecause when youraise theissueonIndian involvementno one wantstochallenge thedominantdiscoursebut thishas tochangeif wehave to seize our initiative i.e.the Pakistaninarrative, wehavemuch to offer to the south Asian discoursehestatedIslamabadcan bedeclared asacknowledgecity,wemighthaveissuesbutnone thatcannot be addressed.

Mr. Hasan Daud Butt,chief executive officer(CEO) KP BOI, said that wemayhavefaced a challengeofgeopolitical nature aswefight tomake Islamabada newhub ofeconomicchange for thisregion.He saidhehasfaithin theyouth ofPakistan, theymust take the leadforthe futureforourfuturemustbe ownedby us.Ms. Fareeh Idrees senior anchorperson and director of media and communications studies (SASSI) commented that Pakistan must understand that Islamabad’s narrative has to be developed who willdevelopit whydo we waitfor theIndian chroniclesfor theissues to be highlighted. Unfortunately, thehuman rightsissues and news fromless developed areasarenot picked upby the mainstream areabecauseof the monetizationissue andratings.do weneed to have a different approach if we have toseehuman interestissuesthenthefocus must behumanbut in theend, thefuture will be determinedby ouracts?

The sessions were moderated by Brigadier Mehboob Qadir, Director Forum for Africa and Middle East (FAME), Dr. Ziaul Haq Shamsi Pakistan Research Institute for Defence Education (PRIDE), and Mr. Asad Akram