DID INDIAN FAKE NEWS TRIGGER THE ONGOING ANTI-PAKISTAN PROTESTS IN KABUL?
India’s fake news war against Pakistan has been in operation for a long time now. Much of the data propagated in information war resonates with the views of pro-government ideology and has largely been negative. The ongoing anti-Pakistan protests in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul appears to be a clear example of how misinformation could create havoc in a chaos-driven nation.
The Afghani protestors claimed that Pakistan’s meddling in Afghan affairs has devastated the country. Pakistani military’s help to Taliban to fight the Afghani resistance forces in Panjshir and their efforts to meditate between various Taliban factions for government formation heightened hate for China-friendly nation. Transitioning from one crisis to another, today Afghanistan has clearly become a Taliban-controlled nation.
A majority of Afghani population stands against the notion of Pakistan-sponsored government in Afghanistan. The narrative has been spearheaded further by the Indian media sites that too blame Pakistan for supporting Taliban.
In the wake of digital revolution, the information warfare scenarios have become central to fulfill the interest of government, intelligence agencies, security experts etc. Both state and non-state actors are making full use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) with offensive and defensive purposes to control the opponent’s resources.
India is a leader in providing intelligence supplies to different corners of the globe. But, despite the offering, it has been accused of triggering the anti-Pakistan protests in Kabul. Even though Pakistan’s double game of supporting Taliban while working with the US has unfolded the war of terror in Afghanistan, the country has put all the blame on India.
Pictures of Taliban militants pointing gun at protesters shouting anti-Pakistan slogans – “long live the resistance” and “death to Pakistan” are getting viral on social media platforms. People and organisations are judging Taliban by their actions, as they try to stop the protestors. In view of the ongoing situation reflected by social media, several Western donors are now barred from dealing with Taliban.
The growing Afghan resistance has urged the international community to not recognise Taliban government. In a similar context, Indian National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval also held Afghanistan-related consultations with Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev in the capital. The objective was to highlight Pakistan-based and India-oriented terror groups like LeT and JeM in Afghanistan while meeting the current and future threats and cyber measures to assist Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, strategists believe Pakistan wants a stake in Afghanistan. The country is afraid that if left alone, the new government in Afghanistan could become pro-India. Over time, Pakistan’s relations with the West have not been that great. The Indian disinformation campaigns have done a great deal to discredit Pakistan internationally.
Nearly 750+ fake news websites operating to serve the Indian State’s interests while promoting misinformation campaigns against Pakistan were revealed by EU DisinfoLab last year. The report called ‘Indian Chronicles’ dove deep into a vast 15-year global operation, which was traced back to the Indian firm Srivastava Group. The contents propagated by Times of Geneva, one of the fake media sites were later spread globally by ANI.
Considering the past history, Pakistan is convinced that India’s information warfare practice is the root-cause for anti-Pakistan protests in Kabul. Although it’s unclear whether India has a role to play in it, but if situation gets out of hand in Afghanistan, Pakistan will be held responsible.