Fake News Karachi
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By Shafek Koreshe

In an abortive attempt to create diversion from Narendra Modi’s human rights abuses in Kashmir, the Indian media went berserk by propagating fake news about a “civil war” like situation in Karachi, triggering a hilarious response from the twitterati in Pakistan, who enjoyed every bit of the ridiculous reports.

#CivilWarInPakistan and #KarachiCivilWar were in no time the top trends, with the young twitter users going crazy by posting video clips from action movies, comics, images of the Indian MiG pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, shot down by Pakistan Air Force inside Pakistan’s territory, as scenes from the Civil War, getting an equally enthusiastic response with numerous retweets and likes.

The arrest of PML-N leader Captain (Retd) Safdar on charges of political sloganeering at Quaid’s Mausoleum and leave applications by senior police officers was exploited by the top Indian news channels, who portrayed an administrative issue as a “civil war” and went to the extent of even reporting casualties, and armed clashes.

Indian Media ditches professionalism to dip at to its lowest 

#FakeNews CNN18News
#FakeNews CNN18News

The news reports were part of a persistent barrage of fake news from Indian mainstream media and its RAW controlled assets on social media over the past few months. The trend has witnessed a sharp spike as part of India’s fifth generation war (5GW) against Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office on the “malicious and fabricated propaganda” by Indian mainstream and social media claiming civil unrest in Pakistan, said planting such baseless stories were reflective of the “Pakistan-obsessed BJP-RSS” mindset.

“Needless to say that Indian media continues to hit new lows,” he said, when asked to respond over the series of fake news flashed as breaking news across the Indian media about a “civil war in Pakistan”.

“Indian media continues to hit new lows”: FO

The Spokesperson said through “peddling fake news and running propaganda machinery”, India could not wash away the truth about its own gross and systematic human rights violations in Indian Ilelgally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

“Rather than reporting on humanitarian crisis in IIOJK, the Indian media chooses to spread fake and sensational news about Pakistan to detract from core issues,” he said.

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#FakeNews - Yet another figment of imagination of Indian Media
#FakeNews – Yet another figment of imagination of Indian Media

The Indian media tried hard to appease its own consumers and to create a diversion from its human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir. However in its abortive attempt it created history by churning out fake news overpowered by the anti-Pakistan hysteria, undermining its professional ethics and credibility.

#FakeNews - India Today with its concocted news story
#FakeNews – India Today with its concocted news story

The unleashing of the Indian media did not go unnoticed, as Michael Kugelman, deputy director at the @AsiaProgram and South Asia senior associate @TheWilsonCenter in a tweet pointed that the Indian disinformation accounts were exploiting Pakistan’s current political crisis, and “falsely claiming that the country is no experiencing urban warfare.”

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He described the trend as “dangerous and disturbing”, as several of these accounts were verified and had huge followings.

Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said the Indian media was in “hyper drive with fake news on Pakistan” and regretted that it was “unfortunate that Twitter is [deliberately ignoring it].”

All major media outlets in so-called world’s biggest democracy decimated all journalistic norms as none bothered to fact-check such a huge gaffe. India’s News18, India Today, Zee News, India.com and several others quoted the International Herald which showed old videos of bomb explosions in Pakistan and portrayed it as the ongoing civil war.

#FakeNews - Indian International Herald tweet
#FakeNews – Indian International Herald tweet

The Institute of Policy Research in a report said their data indicates a pattern of Indian propaganda against Pakistan on digital media that grew exponentially after 2018 General Elections in #Pakistan. The propaganda hovers around largely 4 key themes.

IPRI Timeline of Indian Propaganda
IPRI Timeline of Indian Propaganda

Minister for Ports and Shipping pointed that the Indian propaganda was at its peak and “sadly fueled by the PDM Circus.” He said the food inflation was artificially manufactured, but was being brought under control.

Minister for Kashmir Affairs also lambasted the “fake, fabricated and malicious propaganda campaign to malign State institutions of Pakistan. He urged @Twitter to take action against Indian accounts for #FakeNews against Paksitan.

However, this idiocy of Indian media gave the Twitterati a perfect chance to enjoy as the microblogging site was flooded with messages to ridicule the Indian media’s insanity.

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“Karachi civil war has gotten so bad that my food panda delivery boy had to crawl through mine fields carrying his AK47, RPG & 9mm along with my nihari and Biryani. This thing is getting so serious. Multiple cows have been killed & people are dying of over eating. #IndianMedia,” commented renowned singer Fakhr-e-Alam.

Besides numerous other fake photos, the Indian media also used an image of a building collapsed following a gas leakage blast in Karachi earlier in the day to substantiate its fake news of civil war.

“A little investigation would have informed Zee News that it wasn’t a bomb blast in ‘civil war’ in Pakistan but the result of a  gas leak in Karachi. Whither truth, objectivity, balance and fairness in reporting?,” said Farhatullah Babr, former senator of Pakistan Peoples Party which rules Sindh province.

“An Aircraft shot during civil war in Karachi… and the pilot captured…,” commented another Twitter user Fasihuddin while sharing the images of Indian aircraft MiG-21 and captured injured pilot Abhinandan following an aerial dogfight during India-Pakistan standoff in 2019.