Afghanistan, India spreading disinformation about Pakistan: NSA
Pakistan was facing an onslaught of information war through propaganda on social media accounts, which is being run from the office of the Afghan National Security Adviser, National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said on Wednesday.
Yusuf, at a press conference, said Pakistan was being blamed for its 20-year failure in Afghanistan and was being targeted through the hybrid war.
“Pakistan’s state institutions and the CPEC are being targeted,” he said, adding that one of the targets was to “put Pakistan in [the] FATF’s blacklist”.
Flanked by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Yusuf regretted the global silence in response to India propagating disinformation against Pakistan.
But, he said, the government would keep presenting analytics-based data to show the “information warfare” being faced by Pakistan.
Citing data analytics conducted by the G5iO – a think-tank studying the cyber world for data and analytics—the NSA said a concentrated campaign was launched on multiple social media platforms with the extensive use of bots, coordinated network behavior and fake news pushed across multiple SM platforms.
He said 3.7 million tweets were posted against Pakistan, which trended for 1,000 hours, in collusion with Baloch separatists under the patronage of Indian National Investigation Agency.
Yusuf said senior Afghan officials, including his Afghan counterpart, were involved in such campaigns, adding that the government would expose everything through data and not fake news. “We won’t expose fake news through fake news,” he commented.
“Pakistan has repeatedly pointed how India and several other countries were engaged in the fifth generation warfare (5GW) against it, a fact that came to the fore with the shocking disclosures made by the EU Disinfo Lab,” he added.
According to the Disinformation and Propaganda Campaign to Sabotage Afghan Peace Process, launched by the Digital Media Wing of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the frequency and intensity of these campaigns increased dramatically over the last three months, particularly after the announcement of the final withdrawal date of the US forces and as the Taliban gained military victories.
The latest hashtag #sanctionPakistan has been used over 730,000 times, according to the data from a social media insight company, Talkwalker. Around 37 per cent of those tweets originated from Afghanistan.
The data collected from May 2020 to August 2021 indicates key narratives, networks and user accounts running disinformation operations. A comparative analysis focused on the online hashtag activity with offline political and regional security events.
It was noted that artificial activity was generated from the accounts engaging in platform manipulation and were recently created to push inorganic content.
Despite efforts by Pakistan to maintain a conciliatory tone relations with Afghanistan have soured over the last few months.
Pakistan’s offer to Afghanistan for a peace conference earlier this month was rejected, while the Afghan diplomats were recalled by President Ashraf Ghani over an alleged abduction attempt of its ambassador’s daughter. Pakistan has refuted and termed it a staged attempt to malign the country.
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