A recent report by the European organization, EU DisinfoLab, has shed light on India’s widespread disinformation campaign against China and Pakistan. The investigation, which has gone viral on Chinese social media platforms, reveals the use of non-existent organizations, fake journalists, and fabricated narratives by Indian news agency Asian News International (ANI) to spread false information.
This article explores the key findings of the report and the implications of India’s disinformation network on regional dynamics and diplomatic relations.
Unmasking India’s Anti-China and Anti-Pakistan Disinformation Network:
The report by EU DisinfoLab has uncovered a vast disinformation network operated by India, targeting both China and Pakistan. The network aims to shape negative narratives against these countries and has been found to employ various tactics to spread false information and smear campaigns.
EU DisinfoLab Exposes ANI’s Role in Spreading False Narratives:
The investigation report highlights the involvement of Asian News International (ANI), an Indian news agency, in disseminating false narratives. ANI has been found to quote non-existent organizations, journalists, and bloggers to spread disinformation against China and Pakistan.
Indian Media’s Deliberate Efforts to Shape Negative Narratives Against China and Pakistan:
The report suggests that the Indian media, with ANI as a significant player, is actively engaged in shaping negative narratives against China and Pakistan. These deliberate efforts are aligned with India’s strained relations with both countries and seek to divert attention from internal problems and government performance.
Implications of India’s Disinformation Campaign on Regional Tensions and Diplomatic Relations:
The presence of such a disinformation campaign in the complex geopolitical context of South Asia can have far-reaching consequences. It has the potential to exacerbate tensions, strain diplomatic relations, and hinder regional cooperation efforts. Observers warn of the detrimental effects caused by these campaigns.
The Role of Non-Existent Organizations and Fake Experts in Indian Media:
ANI has been found to quote non-existent organizations and individuals as sources of information. These fabricated entities are presented as credible sources, creating a false impression of legitimacy and credibility for the disinformation being spread. Fake experts are also used to provide opinions and analysis, further misleading readers.
ANI’s Quoting of IFFRAS: A Think Tank That Doesn’t Exist:
The investigation report highlights ANI’s repeated quoting of the International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), a think tank that dissolved in 2014. Despite its non-existence, ANI has consistently quoted and used information from IFFRAS, attributing false reports to the think tank.
Fake Conferences and Non-Existent Speakers: Unveiling the Fabrications:
The report reveals that ANI’s articles often quote non-existent speakers and cite fake conferences organized by IFFRAS. Researchers attempted to contact attendees mentioned by IFFRAS but found that many of them denied ever attending such conferences. Over 70 speakers mentioned in the fake conferences were found to be non-existent.
Srivastava Group’s Link to IFFRAS: Unraveling India’s Disinformation Network:
IFFRAS, the non-existent think tank, was discovered to be linked to the Srivastava Group. This notorious Indian shell corporation, according to a previous EU DisinfoLab report, is involved in news media and has registrations across multiple countries. The connection raises questions about the extent of India’s disinformation network.
China and Pakistan as Targets: India’s Focus Areas for Fabrications and Smear Campaigns:
The investigation highlights India’s focus on fabricating narratives related to China-India border issues, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and China’s policies in regions like Xinjiang and Xizang. These fabricated narratives aim to discredit and smear China and Pakistan.
Countering India’s Disinformation Campaign: Promoting Media Literacy and Authentic Communication:
To counter India’s disinformation campaign, experts suggest a multifaceted approach involving media literacy and authentic communication. It is crucial for China, Pakistan, and other targeted nations to educate the public about identifying and evaluating misinformation. Utilizing official channels and social media platforms to directly communicate with global audiences can also help combat false narratives.
The report’s findings expose the extensive disinformation campaign conducted by India through its media outlets, particularly ANI. This campaign has significant implications for regional tensions, diplomatic relations, and public opinion. Recognizing the importance of media literacy and authentic communication is crucial in effectively countering such disinformation networks and their impact on international affairs.