ISLAMABAD, Jan 27 (APP): The Indian Chronicles came onto the agenda of European Parliament (EP) as the members raised questions over India’s state-sponsorship behind the fake media outlets and lobbyists that were long used to target Pakistan.
The EP’s Special Committee on Foreign Interference took up the matter on foreign interference in a geopolitical context, at a session held under the chair of Member of European Parliament (MEP) Raphaël Glucksmann in Brussels, which was live-streamed on the official website late Tuesday.
The questions by MEPs that mainly dominated the discussion were about the financing of political parties in Europe by pro-Indian actors, state-sponsorship, and the attempts to use the credibility of European organizations in a non-transparent way to serve certain interests.
MEP Vladimir Bilcik questioned the link of attempts with state-sponsorship, adding how it could be possible for a network to operate independently of the state.
Executive Director EU DisinfoLab Alexandre Alaphilippe and Research Coordinator Roman Adamczyk, who were invited to virtually join the session, responded to the queries of MEPs and gave a briefing about the revelations about India’s narrative-building against Pakistan by using bogus media outlets.
Alexandre Alaphilippe told MEPs that India had been long using content syndication to mimic the activities of real media outlets including RT, Voice of America, and other European Institutions.
An ecosystem involving multiple types of pro-Indian actors, he said, misappropriated and usurped the identities of non-existent NGOs and even dead academics, who spoke on topics of interest favourable to India, which was also amplified by India’s ANI news agency.
Alaphilippe mentioned the shaping of narratives by promoting activities of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in EU Chronicles, which he said, put a direct impact on the narrative in Brussels and in the European Parliament.
Research Coordinator Roman Adamczyk said EU Disinfo Lab was carrying out the operation for the last 15 years, which showed that there were a lot of people and organizations involved in the network of fake news.
Following the launch of the EU Disinfo Lab report, he pointed out that the researchers were being intimidated and personally targeted for exposing the truth.
The EU Disinfo Lab last year had revealed a massive operation to serve Indian interests by targeting international institutions, through a systematic disinformation campaign against Pakistan and China has been uncovered by a EU based organisation.
“The operation’s mission is to discredit nations in conflict with India in Asia, in particular Pakistan but also China to a lesser extent,” a study conducted by EU DisinfoLab, an independent NGO said. The operation was a follow-up to a preliminary investigation published in 2019.
This network is active in Brussels and Geneva in producing and amplifying content to undermine – primarily – Pakistan. The operation codenamed “Indian Chronicles” resurrected dead media, dead think-tanks, and NGOs. It even resurrected dead people, the report revealed.
The network is part of the sinister propaganda campaign, part of its Fifth Generation Hybrid Warfare – 5GW, against Pakistan with an objective to create chaos in the country.
The study, of the 15-year influence operation, was conducted through open-source investigation and shows that the operation led by the Srivastava Group was amplified by Indian news media outlet – Asian News International – ANI.
According to the details provided by the EU DisinfoLab, last year, a network of 265 fake media in 65 countries reproducing negative content against Pakistan online was uncovered.
The network was created by malicious actors who were behind “EP Today”, a fake European Parliament magazine active in Brussels since 2006.
-APP Digital Report by Shumaila Andleeb