India has waged a battle of misinformation against Pakistan, and it continues to do so by running anti-Pakistan propaganda with the help of the Internet. Kashmir, Balochistan, Sindh, minorities, terrorism and human rights are such issues on which India is engaged in generating the anti-Pakistan narrative. For this, India has engaged a number of social media influencers including authentic journalists, government officials, mainstream media. In this report, Pak Voices has provided a detailed analysis of such influencers who are running a well-planned campaign against Pakistan. We will cover the following points in this report :

  • Propaganda Accounts
  • Fake and misleading news
  • Comparing the political/Religious activities of Pakistan with the civil war
  • Conclusion

In a concerning development, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) carried out a recent attack in the northern regions of Pakistan, leading to heightened security concerns. However, this incident has been marred by a new wave of disinformation and propaganda, with Indian-linked Twitter accounts accused of spreading old and unrelated videos and images to propagate false and defamatory claims about the Pakistan Armed Forces and the advancement of the Taliban in the country.

The TTP Attack

On September 6, 2023, the TTP launched an attack on Chitral, KPK, resulting in twelve casualties of soldiers at the defence line. This act of terrorism has raised serious concerns about the security situation in the northern areas of Pakistan and the ongoing efforts to combat extremism in the region.

Misleading Propaganda by Indian Accounts

In the aftermath of the attack, several Twitter accounts with apparent links to India began actively spreading old and unrelated videos and images. These misleading posts purported to show the failure of the Pakistan Armed Forces and the alleged advancement of the Taliban within Pakistan’s borders.

The disinformation campaign included the use of manipulated images and videos, some of which had been circulating on social media for years. These materials were presented in a manner that falsely implied they were related to the recent TTP attack, creating a distorted narrative of events.

Nepal Correspondence

Source: https://twitter.com/NepCorres

Account Creation

The “Nepal Correspondence” Twitter account came into existence in May 2022. Initially, it seemed like just another social media profile, but its activities over time have raised suspicions.

Spreading Misinformation and Disinformation

Reports and concerns have emerged regarding the account’s engagement in sharing misinformation and disinformation targeting Pakistan. Misinformation refers to the spread of false information, often unintentionally, while disinformation involves the deliberate dissemination of false information with malicious intent.

OSINT Updates

Source: https://twitter.com/OsintUpdates

Account Creation

The “OSINT Updates” Twitter account was established in December 2020. Initially, it positioned itself as a source of open-source intelligence updates, with a focus on investigative reporting.

Spreading Misinformation and Disinformation

Over time, reports and concerns have surfaced suggesting that “OSINT Updates” has ventured into spreading misinformation and disinformation, particularly with a focus on Pakistan. Misinformation entails the inadvertent spread of false or misleading information, whereas disinformation involves a deliberate campaign to propagate false narratives, often with malicious intent.

Frontal Force

Source:https://twitter.com/FrontalForce

Account Creation

“Frontal Force” emerged on the Twitter scene in October 2020, ostensibly positioning itself as a source of conflict and current affairs updates. On the surface, it appeared to be a platform for reporting on global issues.

Spreading Misinformation and Disinformation

However, over time, concerns have arisen regarding the account’s intentions and actions. There have been allegations of “Frontal Force” being actively involved in spreading disinformation aimed at defaming Pakistan. Disinformation involves the deliberate dissemination of false or misleading information, often with malicious intent.

OsintTV

Source: https://twitter.com/OsintTV

Account Creation

OsintTV emerged on the Twitter scene in August 2020, ostensibly positioning itself as a source of conflict and current affairs updates. On the surface, it appeared to be a platform for reporting on global issues.

Spreading Misinformation and Disinformation

However, over time, concerns have arisen regarding the account’s intentions and actions. There have been allegations of OsintTV  being actively involved in spreading disinformation aimed at defaming Pakistan. Disinformation involves the deliberate dissemination of false or misleading information, often with malicious intent.

Kashmir Fact

Source: https://twitter.com/KashmirFact

Account Creation:

Kashmir Fact emerged on the Twitter scene in August 2022, ostensibly positioning itself as a source of conflict and current affairs updates in Jammu and Kashmir. On the surface, it appeared to be a platform for reporting on Kashmir issues.

Spreading Misinformation and Disinformation:

However, over time, concerns have arisen regarding the account’s intentions and actions. There have been allegations of Kashmir Fact being actively involved in spreading disinformation aimed at defaming Pakistan. Disinformation involves the deliberate dissemination of false or misleading information, often with malicious intent.

Fabricated Narratives:

The disinformation campaign included the use of manipulated images and videos, some of which had been circulating on social media for years. These materials were presented in a manner that falsely implied they were related to the recent TTP attack, creating a distorted narrative of events.

Conspiracy against National Security of Pakistan

Twitter handle @NepalCorress on Sep 6, 2023 reported that Pakistan has lost a large part of Northern Area’s and officials of Pakistan Army’s most powerful unit “Special Service Group” SSG commandos were held hostage by Taliban’s. The shared video was viewed by 307.4K peoples.

Source:  https://twitter.com/NepCorres/status/1699412575388160034

Fact Check:

Going through the comment’s locals of Chitral refuted such claims. Some peoples from Waziristan confirmed that this is a old video of Pakistan Custom Officers being held hostage by Militants in Waziristan, FATA. Furthermore, comparing SSG uniform we found variation with the uniform seen in the video.

Source:  https://twitter.com/NepCorres/status/1699412575388160034

Source: https://x.com/NepCorres/status/1699412578856796651?s=20

Fact Check:

The shared video turned out to be an old incident from Yadgar Chowk, Gilgit in 2022 amid Two religious groups clashed at Yadgar Chowk resulting in 2 causalities and left 17 wounded.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-BCCkp9yb8 , https://www.dawn.com/news/1702608

Advancement of Taliban & Failure of Pakistan Army

News Anchor of Bharat Varsh Tv “Sumit Chaudhry” shared statement of TTP claiming TTP has released pictures of captures Pakistan Army soldiers.

Source: https://twitter.com/SumitDefence/status/1699710270883430662

Fact Check:

The shared images were found to be old, reverse image search found pictures along with other photographs from December, 2010. Furthermore the original source & cause of the images were not found but proved to be old.

Comparing the political/Religious activities of Pakistan with the civil war

Several Indian twitter handles shared a video claiming civil war in Gilgit, Pakistan claiming Indian Flag hoisted on the Government building and peoples chanting “Death to Pakistan” declaring themselves as the part of India. While in the last video @OsintTV claimed that a Muslim cleric confirming Indian Flag was raised by youth of Gilgit, Pakistan.

Source: https://twitter.com/OsintUpdates/status/1700102386973573397 https://twitter.com/NepCorres/status/1700080560054444323

Source: https://twitter.com/anonymouswave1/status/1700107230224556185 , https://twitter.com/OsintTV/status/1700201105248944588

Fact Check: The shared videos were found to be old and reshared with a false context. Slogan of “Qazi Nisar Murdabad” was misinterpreted as “Pakistan Murdabad”. No tri-color flag was hoisted but a white flag with Kalma commonly seen in Sunni area’s of Gilgit. The rally was carried out on a communal violence after statement given by Qazi Nisar.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/reel/2306624539526419

While the last video was also found to be out of context the image of youth holding Indian flag was found to be from Karbal, Iraq. The person is named Papu Baig who is a Indian National went fort Shia rituals in Iraq.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/reel/2306624539526419

Source: https://www.facebook.com/pappo.baig

Failure of Pakistan Army on Torkham Border Clash

Indian propaganda accounts @FrontalForce, and @KashmirFact along with other handles shared a video claiming “TTP captured Pakistan Army vehicle & weapons from Pak-Afghan border area.

Source: https://twitter.com/FrontalForce/status/1699720855369158777 , https://twitter.com/KashmirFact/status/1699682798393565277

Fact Check:

The shared videos were found to be misleading. Pakistan Armed Forces do not have American Made “Ford” trucks. The captured vehicle shown in the video is “Ford Rangers” left behind by U.S NATO forces.

Source: https://carbuzz.com/news/thousands-of-ford-rangers-and-humvees-left-behind-in-afghanistan

Conclusion

The analysis presented here underscores a concerning and persistent trend of misinformation and disinformation originating from certain sectors of Indian social media, aiming to tarnish Pakistan’s image and create a distorted narrative on several crucial issues. India appears to be orchestrating a systematic campaign that targets Pakistan on multiple fronts, including Kashmir, Balochistan, Sindh, minorities, terrorism, and human rights.

This campaign extends beyond mere rhetoric and utilizes a network of social media influencers, some with seemingly credible backgrounds such as journalists and government officials, to amplify its message. These influencers employ tactics such as the spread of fake news, manipulation of imagery and video, and the deliberate misinterpretation of events to create a negative portrayal of Pakistan.

However, it is crucial to recognize that the dissemination of disinformation and false narratives can have far-reaching consequences. Such campaigns can exacerbate regional tensions, erode trust in reliable sources of information, and hinder diplomatic relations between nations. Additionally, the circulation of old and unrelated content to fuel contemporary narratives undermines the credibility of the information ecosystem as a whole. In conclusion, the propagation of misinformation and disinformation through various social media channels is a global challenge that requires vigilance and collective action. Identifying and addressing the sources of these campaigns, while upholding the principles of accurate and ethical reporting, remains a critical task for all stakeholders invested in preserving the integrity of information in the digital age.

There are approximately 31 fact checking platforms in India and none of them have considerably done anything in mitigating rapid flow of misinformation and disinformation from India against Pakistan.