Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said it was unprecedented how the opposition parties have attacked the country's armed forces and have used the same language that the Indian propaganda machine uses against them.
"The way the political opposition of Pakistan has attacked the Pakistan Army, this has never happened before in our history," he said while addressing a gathering in Chakwal after laying the foundation stone of various projects in the district.
The projects include a university for the district, a 500-bed hospital, ring road and a school. The projects are estimated to cost around Rs15 billion.
Referring to the recent report by Brussels-based EU DisinfoLab regarding a massive Indian disinformation campaign against Pakistan using fake news websites and NGOs, the prime minister said the objective of the campaign is to present a negative image of the country.
"The purpose of this was to present Pakistan in a negative light in front of the world and to portray that there is chaos so that no investment comes in the country."
He added that the Pakistan Army was also targetted in the campaign by India, with the objective of portraying it as a "rogue army or terrorists".
The prime minister said the fake news websites were also promoting the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). "This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that the opposition has targetted the Army in this manner. There is no prior example of this."
Imran dismissed claims by the opposition that the country's establishment played a part in the rigging of the previous general elections. He asked the opposition if they had approached the courts or the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). "Did you go to Parliament and take up the issue?".
Criticising the opposition, Imran said the country knew that the leaders of opposition parties looted the country over the last 30 years.
He also referred to articles and news stories in foreign publications detailing the corruption of the said parties. Maintaining that the opposition was attacking the country's institutions to protect their ill-gotten wealth, he said never has such an "extremist, totalitarian, racist and anti-Muslim" political party has come to power in India.
"This is the time we need them [Army] more than ever. I have never seen an opposition trying to undermine its country like this just to get an NRO." He added that India was also involved in terrorism in Balochistan
"If any government gives them an NRO, that would be the worst thing one can do to Pakistan."
The premier continued and said that democracy holds its leaders accountable and said people should ask Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Maryam Nawaz what their qualifications are to head their political parties. "If someone asks them what their job experience is they'll say that their fathers are the most corrupt men in Pakistan. This is their qualification. They have not worked for an hour in their life and are here to run a country."
Referring to the projects he laid the foundation stone for, the prime minister said the university and the school would produce talented youngsters from the region and give the people of Chakwal a chance to better their prospects through education.
Imran promised continued support for the projects and urged the people to utilise the opportunity.
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses a gatheringPosted by Express Tribune on Saturday, December 26, 2020
Earlier, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz likened the PDM to ‘Indian Chronicles’ – the report released by EU DisinfoLab.
“On one hand the external enemies are committing the crime of spreading false information against Pakistan through Indian Chronicles and on the other the PDM is spreading frustration among the people by resorting to lies,” he had said.
According to an investigation by the EU DisinfoLab, a coordinated influence operation, to malign Pakistan’s reputation, has been led by the New-Delhi-based Srivastava Group and amplified by Asia News International (ANI), an Indian news agency, for the last 15 years.
The operation’s mission is to discredit nations in conflict with India in the region, in particular Pakistan and also China to a certain extent. In the long run, the campaign is aimed at bolstering India’s global perception, which will ultimately allow New Delhi to bag more support from international institutions such as the EU and the UN.