Media experts and security analysts denounce Indian media’s attempts to spread false information and harping on a negative chorus to scuttle peace prospects in the region.
A recent report of CNN News18, an Indian news channel, made false claims about Pakistan’s role in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). The allegations have been proven as fake.
Security analyst Zaffar Kamal has also linked the inaccurate media statements as an outcome of the propaganda churned out by certain hostile and biased Indian media outlets.
“The report is part of the Indian state narrative of falsehood and far from ground realities contradicting the Indian state and military leadership’s tall claims,” he said.
Media experts observed that in the recent past, the Indian state resorted to malicious tactics like false flag operations and fake news to divert international and domestic pressures in an attempt to cover the blatant human rights abuses in the IIOJK.
Indian media stirred up a storm with reports of its military’s elimination of cross-border infiltration as a result of different operations, despite having been repeatedly exposed by international agencies and global entities like EU Disinfo Lab, said the experts.
Media analysts opined that Pakistan on the contrary had always acted with restraint and displayed a magnanimous attitude towards its neighbour.
“Whether it is Abhinandan or Indian missile falling inside Pakistan territory, it had always acted in the greater interest of regional and international peace. Propagating [rumours] against Pakistan is ‘all-in-one solution’ for India to cover up its failures,” they opined.
Moreover, they said, the Indian government’s claims of normalcy and development in IIOJK as the main dividend of the abrogation of Articles 370 & 35A had also been badly exposed at all forums.
“The Indian state-sponsored political coercion has also met severe criticism and firm resentment by the people of IIOJK,” they added.
Persecution of Kashmiri journalists continues
The experts observed that the Indian government was bent on silencing Kashmiri journalists’ voices by using guns and intimidation (in the form of draconian laws) to mask the ground realities and push false narratives against Pakistan.
The Indian government faced severe criticism from the domestic and international media when a Kashmiri journalist Fahad Shah was arrested on baseless and fabricated accusations.
Geeta Seshu, who founded the Free Speech Collective, a group advocating for the rights of lawyers, civil society activists and journalists, said: “Even if we believe the allegations of the police, it is beyond comprehension why it took so long for the police to act and arrest in the cases registered last year? It is clear from their behaviour that they do not want Fahad to do journalism,” reported IG News.
Ashok Swain, an eminent academician based in Sweden, commented “Fahd’s arrest shows that the ruling government is doing whatever it can to keep Kashmir out of the international agenda,” adding that was why it had been curbing all kinds of independent journalism from IIOJK.
Ashok, Professor of Peace and Conflict at Uppsala University, said: “The repeated arrests and harassment of journalists and their family members in Kashmir is aimed at creating an atmosphere of fear so that local independent journalism will die out.”
In a statement issued in New York, Committee to Protect Journalists programme Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna strongly condemned the arrest and harassment of Fahad and asked the Indian administration not to criminalise journalism in the name of national security.
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