Indian Media’s Endless False Narratives against Pakistan

By Sajjad Shaukat

War of nerves between India and Pakistan has continued since August 5, 2019, when New Delhi unilaterally annexed the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), revoking articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution which gave a special status to that region. Almost three months have been passed. Indian forces have continued lockdown and curfew in the IOK in wake of shortage of foods and even medicines for the patients. In order to hide human rights violations, communication services have been cut off from the world and foreign delegations and journalists are not allowed to enter the Indian Controlled Kashmir. Besides, Indian extremist rulers are also escalating tensions with Pakistan to divert attention from the drastic situation of the Indian Held Kashmir, and have continued shelling inside Pakistani side of Kashmir by violating the ceasefire agreement in relation to the Line of Control (LoC).

It is notable that Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was on seven-day visit to the New York City in connection with the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly opened on September 24, 2019. In his interaction with the US lawmakers, scholars, human rights activists and the media, and meetings with the US President Donald Trump and world’s other leaders, he briefed them on the repercussions of the Indian annexation of the disputed Kashmir valley. And during his speech at the UNGA, Imran reiterated the drastic implications of the lockdown in Kashmir and particularly danger of nuclear war between Pakistan and India, as Indian Prime Minister Modi can initiate a conventional war with Pakistan, which can culminate into atomic conflict between the two neighbouring countries.

Human rights groups, leaders of various countries, including United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and international media are condemning India’s perennial lockdown in the Indian Held Kashmir, demanding New Delhi to lift the restrictions on the Kashmiris and curfew in that region. In the recent past, US law-makers raised the issue of military clampdown in the IOK and expressed the similar feelings.

As Islamabad has succeeded in internationalization of the situation of Kashmir by pointing out reality regarding Modi-led government’s illegitimate moves, Indian media has continued projecting endless false narratives against Pakistan by spreading disinformation, while twisting the facts.

In this context, under the caption ‘Govt identifies over 500 URLs generated by ISI’s Cyber Jehadis, India Outlook wrote: “As cyber Jehadis of Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) exploit various social media platforms (SMPs) to foment trouble in J&K [Jammu and Kashmir] and other parts of India, govt identified over 500 URL and accounts on SMPs to be blocked. The ISI has also hired social media influencers in Middle East and Europe to generate trending hashtags on Twitter with an intent to malign India’s image. Hundreds of Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, generated by ISI’s cyber group, have also been traced by Indian intelligence agencies. A list of such FB pages and Twitter accounts have been forwarded by Ministry of Home Affairs to the Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology. While India has established a media cell in Afghanistan to promote PTM, Baloch insurgents and anti-Pakistan activists, a blame for fake accounts can only be regarded as hilarious. Pakistan’s masses are already well aware of Indian designs and challenge her narrative on SMPs as volunteers. Truth and fake news remains the biggest difference between two nations, which was proved in Feb this year after Pulwama/Balakot and recently after Indian Army Chief stated to have destroyed terrorists camps in AJK [Azad Jammu and Kashmir]. Pakistan offered India to send her Amb along with own media to investigate, an offer still not responded by India. Moreover, while India may blame Pakistan for SM accounts spreading fake narrative. Can India refute intelligence and independent media houses (electronic, print and social) too which have been covering IOK crisis since Aug 5”.

Under the title, ‘J&K: Army Jawan killed in heavy shelling by Pakistan along LoC’, Indian Express wrote: “A Junior Commissioned Officer was killed as Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and small arms fire along the LoC in J&K’s Rajouri and Poonch districts. According to sources, the JCO whose identity was not immediately known was deployed at Nowshera sector’s Kalal area. Also, the heavy shelling by Pakistani troops for nearly an hour left students of nearly half a dozen schools stranded. India’s unprovoked firing and shelling in AJK was responded aggressively by Pakistan. Indian media is widely known to manipulate and churn out fake version of truth. While Pakistan flew diplomats to site of Indian shelling, the offer to Indian representatives along with own media still stands un-responded. Indian media reporting loss of one JCO has been killed, whereas there have been nine casualties confirmed by Pakistan. India previously also has shielded their losses to maintain image of their forces and loss of national morale”.

Under the caption ‘Pakistan’s Continued Support to LeT, JeM Obstacle for Talks with India U.S. Raises Concern’, India Today which tried to show impartiality, wrote: “Acknowledging India’s demand that there cannot be any talks with Pakistan while the Imran Khan government continues to support terrorism, U.S. said that terrorism continues to be the chief obstacle in way of dialogue. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells told Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Pakistan’s continued support to terrorist groups such as LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba], JeM [Jaish-e-Mohammed] that engage in cross border terrorism has been a major hindrance for dialogue to progress. Keeping up to traditions of lies, Indian media report is a twisted picture for masses. Exact news is “US has raised concerns with the Indian government regarding the detentions of local residents and political leaders, including three former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir,” Wells told the U.S. House Foreign Affairs committee. “We have urged Indian authorities to respect human rights and restore full access to services, including internet and mobile networks.” Indian media is notorious for recycling news to her own advantage. This may pacify domestic masses, but world at large cannot be fooled. India stands mocked again”.

Under the title ‘Pakistan to Earn Rs. 258 Crore Per Annum from Kartarpur Pilgrims’, India Today wrote: Pakistan is expected to earn up to Indian Rs 258 crore per annum about Pakistani Rs 571 crore from pilgrims visiting Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur. The service fee from the pilgrims will be another source of foreign currency generation for Pakistan, which is already reeling under severe financial crisis. India is seriously feeling pain over a petty 20$ fee per person suggested for pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahab. While Umra, Hajj and even Vatican visits costs hefty amounts the hue and cry by Indian media is unnecessary. On one side India is trying to restrict Pakistan’s economic revival by every possible means e.g. propaganda on CPEC and lobbying in FATF, this is a step by Pakistan which has wrong footed Indian state. Modi cannot afford to further damage his image as minority eraser and specially to antagonize Sikh community”.

It is mentionable that in this connection, some media reports have indicated facts. In this respect, under the title ‘Jammu Court orders ‘Torture FIR’ against SIT that Probed Kathua Rape and Murder Case’, The Print wrote: “A Jammu court ordered the registration of an FIR against members of Special Investigation Team (SIT), which investigated the gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in J&K’s Kathua district, for alleged torture. The order comes about four months after a court in Pathankot (Punjab), where the trial of the accused had been shifted on the orders of Supreme Court, awarded life sentence to three accused and five years’ imprisonment to three others for raping and then murdering the girl in January 2018. Indian judiciary has lost its credibility since it has failed to protect the rights of minorities. An FIR registration in a heinous crime needs a court decision, specially because it involves a Muslim victim. The mindset is not only restricted to judiciary but prevalent in wider society. The same judiciary has set free many accused involved in mob lynching of Muslims, and has reserved its decision on Babri Mosque. Similarly, Indian SC has delayed hearing of cases filed against abrogation of ARTICLE 370 in IOK. Minorities in India are not safe anymore and no platform is available which can guarantee justice to them”.

Likewise, under the caption ‘No Right to Privacy for Terrorists, Govt Tells SC as it Advocates for Stricter Regulation of Facebook, WhatsApp’, CNN News 18 pointed out, “The central government [of India] in a report submitted in the Supreme Court, while advocating for stricter regulations of intermediaries such as Facebook and WhatsApp said that right to privacy can’t be a ruse to perpetrate terror activities. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a bench headed by Justice Deepak Gupta that the government is completely against invading anyone’s privacy but this cannot become a subterfuge for terrorists. India’s hypocrisy cannot be explained any better. A state which goes nuts over freedom of expression, which exploits her media houses established in Afghanistan to promote anti-Pakistan views is limiting her own public. Under the garb of terror activities, Modi sarkar is bent upon restricting the freedom of information to her own masses. This is a clear sign of a fascist state which has already engulfed all pillars of state in her Hindutva lap”.

Nevertheless, we can conclude that by exposing India’s blunders regarding Kashmir, Islamabad has internationalized the issue by indicating Modi’s extremist moves and other related steps in this regard. Hence, Indian media has continued endless false narratives against Pakistan.

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