EU concerned over fake-news, propaganda campaign by India

Gauhar Zahid Malik 

India’s covert propaganda campaign and secret backing of a few European-based think-tanks and multiple organizations have worried many Western officials. This campaign has overshadowed the credibility of these organizations and individuals engaged to target certain countries and institutions.

According to the, the European Union has begun reviewing the status of suspicious think-tanks, NGOs, and individuals engaged in creating and amplifying content designed to “serve Indian interests and undermine Pakistan” under a network predominantly active in Brussels and Geneva. Ever since EUDisinfoLab, an independent organization had lately revealed how India had misused the platform of some UN-accredited NGOs and misguided foreign think-tanks to advance propaganda against Pakistan. 


According to the publication, the European Parliament has established a special committee to detect foreign cyber-attacks, fake news, and online propaganda to counter the rising targeted disinformation campaigns. European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourava and EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Josep Borrell both have taken notice of foreign propaganda machines aimed at misguiding people to achieve their desired agendas.

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Pakistan had long been complaining that India had been engaged in fake propaganda and disinformation campaign against Pakistan. Foreign Minister Qureshi also cited a report by European non-government organization EU DisinfoLab which claimed that India “attempted to manipulate international bodies through fake news websites and organizations”.
The EU officials have taken notice of disinformation and misinformation campaign by certain foreign-financed NGOs. However, the EU was focused on Russian cyber-attacks and China’s rising online influence in Europe.

However, now EU DisinfoLab report has widened the task of the EU secretariat, which is worried overspread of fake-news, online propaganda, aimed at manipulating public opinion.
A diplomatic source has confirmed to Pakistan Observer correspondent in Brussels that such moves are considered as violations of the EU’s code of practice on disinformation.

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