Media plays a central role in shaping human attitudes and behaviors. This power of media can be used by the state to enhance a sense of nationalism within its population. The Government of Pakistan needs to create a sense of belonging within its population. In a milieu of rising protectionism at the global level, the people of Pakistan need to have a sense of belonging on this soil.
Media is a vital tool to create a sense of belonging. It can enamor feelings of patriotism within the populace by appealing to the human emotion of belonging. Symbols are powerful entities and the media can use these symbols to enamor patriotism among the population of Pakistan.
It was witnessed during the 1965 war that the media utilized national songs to mobilize the entire population to provide a collective national front against the enemy. Media once again needs to play a proactive role in nation-building by using symbols to arouse patriotism.
INVOLVEMENT OF RAW
The role of India’s foremost intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), in conducting disinformation campaigns has, by and large, remained hidden from the media watch. The RAW’s disinformation campaign, often bordering on lying, is well reflected by innocuous-looking news (unsupported by reference to information sources) that appear, from time to time, in Indian media.
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The world is aware of India’s disinformation campaigns against Pakistan, with a famous revelation by EU Disinformation Lab on 09 December 2020 on how India had been involved in undermining Pakistan on different international platforms. The Stanford Internet Observatory’s (SIO) Cyber Policy Centre in the United States conducted a study that further exposed nefarious agenda.
The center recently released a report titled ‘My Heart Belongs to Kashmir: An Analysis of a Pro-Indian Army Covert Influence Operation on Twitter.’ According to the study, the primary goal of the campaign was to spread the anti-Pakistan narrative and obscure the Kashmir issue, which is a common strategy used by the Indian state, ruled by BJP.
Intelligence sources revealed that RAW had funded BNF Hameed group; 1 billion Rs for creating chaos in Gilgit Baltistan. It was also revealed that BNF-H had made long-term plans to sow chaos in Gilgit-Baltistan at the behest of RAW by brainwashing the students through secessionist and anti-state propaganda and also undertaking terrorist attacks. BNF-H attempt to set up an FM Radio channel which was aimed at broadcasting anti-Pakistan propaganda was also reportedly thwarted by the intelligence and law-enforcement agencies
INDIAN TWEETS AGAINST PAKISTAN
The power struggle between Pakistan’s government and its ousted prime minister, Imran Khan, has escalated dramatically, with authorities targeting the pro-Khan press, and officials charging that India, Pakistan’s archrival, is among those supporting his surging comeback campaign.
Some made sarcastic comments online about the fatal crash of a military helicopter on 01 Aug as it was providing humanitarian aid to a flood-ravaged region. The posts provoked a rare, emotional response from military officials, who said the commenters had dishonored the victims and caused “anguish and distress” to their families.
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The crackdown has intensified as Khan’s political strength has grown. Although he was once seen as close to the military establishment, analysts say the former cricket star is now seen by the armed forces as an unreliable populist, while Sharif and his government are viewed as more cooperative members of the Pakistani establishment.
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, addressing an Indian Army unit’s reunion on 27 October, threatened “Our resolve will get completed only when India will get the whole of Jammu and Kashmir, including Gilgit-Baltistan back”.
India playing the Shia card is nothing new. They have been doing this for a long time. The population on both sides of Kargil Heights is predominantly Shia. India is encouraging Iran to play a silent role in controlling the social and religious life of Shias living in Gilgit – Baltistan, and Kargil.
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A retired major of the Indian Army has shown his support to PTI Chairman Imran Khan because of the latter’s critical comments against the Pakistani establishment. Taking to his verified Twitter account, Major Gaurav Arya (retd) lauded Khan for speaking against the country’s army, the prime minister, as well as the country’s intelligence agency.
The NDTV reports IK statement: “After criticism over anti-army remarks, Former Prime Minister Imran Khan said that his party wants the Pakistan Army to be “strong” and his “constructive” criticism was not intended to harm the powerful force as he demanded early elections to end the political impasse in the country”.
Such incidents have become more frequent in Indian media under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership. They have begun to jeopardize their own intellectual integrity and journalistic ethics to malign and diplomatically isolate Pakistan. Although Pakistan is already dealing with the subtle implications of such operations, it is only a matter of time before the cost of such operations overcomes the collateral.
Intl community should take notice of the misuse of media platforms and regulates the limits and border for Indian overt manipulation and support to the anti-Pak elements.
Tahama Asad is a graduate of the National Defense University, Islamabad