There’s no real blood on Pakistani streets but India is trying awfully hard to bleed Pakistan. There’s no real blood on Pakistani streets because India is using ‘weapons of mass distraction’ as opposed to ‘weapons of mass destruction’. There’s no real blood on Pakistani streets because India is using ‘persuasive technology’ as opposed to ‘destructive technology’. There’s no real blood on Pakistani streets but a more dangerous war is on. And, the new battlefield is the human mind. The war is on and the war goes on 24/7. Minds are at war and India’s battles against Pakistan have gone online.
On December 9, EU DisinfoLab, an independent non-profit organisation that tracks sophisticated disinformation campaigns, published ‘Indian Chronicles’, uncovering “a massive operation targeting international institutions and serving Indian interests.” According to EU DisinfoLab, Srivastava Group “resurrected dead media, dead think-tanks and NGOs. It even resurrected dead people. This network is active in Brussels and Geneva producing and amplifying contents to undermine – primarily – Pakistan.”
Some fifteen years ago, Srivastava Group (SG), a fake front entity headquartered in New Delhi, was set up by India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). SG opened up offices in Brussels, Geneva and Edmonton. Between 2005 and 2020, SG established a network of 750 fake media outlets and 550 website domain names spread over at least 116 countries.
Between 2005 and 2020, SG established a fake web comprising Times of Geneva, EP Today, European Organization for Pakistani Minority (EOPM), 4NewsAgency, Women’s Economic and Social Think Tank (WESTT), A2N Broadcasting, International Institute for Non-Aligned Studies (IAINS), Delhi Times and New Delhi Times. Times of Geneva regularly manufactures – and spreads – fake news on Gilgit-Baltistan. IAINS arranged carefully supervised propaganda trips to Kashmir by EU MPs and their meetings with PM Modi.
RAW’s information warfare has four aims. One, to disseminate propaganda against Pakistan. Two, to discredit Pakistan internationally. Three, to influence decision-making at the UN. Four, to influence decision-making at the EU Parliament. According to Alexandre Alaphilippe, executive director of EU DisinfoLab, “It is the largest network we have exposed.” Amazingly, the same network uses at least 10 UN-accredited NGOs to lobby against Pakistan, to organise anti-Pakistan demonstrations and speak against Pakistan at the UN.
Lo and behold, Asian News International (ANI), India’s largest news agency that offers syndicated multimedia news feed to news-bureaus in India and around the world, “played significant roles as allies of the Research and Analysis Wing…” EU DisinfoLab concluded that “ANI had on multiple occasions published mostly anti-Pakistan and sometimes anti-China opinion pieces…and that this material was known to have been sourced from a vast network of pro-India fake news websites run by the Srivastava Group.”
EU DisinfoLab has caught RAW red-handed (something that our missions in Brussels, Geneva and the UN should have done). On top of arming and financing terrorists in Balochistan, RAW is now spending upwards of a hundred million dollars on professional networks of ‘troll farms’ to achieve three things: ‘influence, disrupt and usurp’.
RAW’s pseudo state-sponsored, non-kinetic, all-out assault against Pakistan has six weapons: fake news, fake media, fake addresses, fake letterheads, fake names and fake telephone numbers. There’s no real blood on Pakistani streets but RAW wants to use its non-lethal weaponry as a force multiplier – and that’ll be deadlier than ever before.
The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad.
Email: [email protected] Twitter: @saleemfarrukh