India’s fifth-generation war against Pakistan
SOCIAL engineering, disinformation, cyber attacks as well as upcoming technology like artificial intelligence are some important yet effective tools to conduct fifth-generation warfare.
It is rightly described by Daniel Abbot as a “war of information and perception.” Pakistan has been a target of fifth-generation warfare, which India has purposefully employed in partnership with the West and Israel.
Pakistan’s targeted areas are many, including the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, cultural identity, ideological and ethnic cohesion, and, most crucially, the economy.
Today, social media has been militarized and is being used aggressively against target countries.
India is utilizing it to portray Pakistan as a facilitator and sponsor of extremist groups.India creates and propagates social media trends in order to enlist the support of its western friends against Pakistan.
It has set up hundreds of fake websites and accounts in order to portray Pakistan as a state that supports terrorism and engages in money laundering, which is subsequently used to fund terrorism.
The EU DisinfoLab discovered a huge network of 265 coordinated fake local media sites representing Indian interests in 65 countries, as well as a number of dubious think tanks and NGOs, in 2019.
This network was engaged in Brussels and Geneva, creating and disseminating content aimed largely at undermining Pakistan.
EU DisinfoLab found a network of 265 fake media outlets in 65 countries that spread negative information about Pakistan on the internet.
This network was set up by malicious actors who were behind “EP Today,” a phoney European Parliament magazine that has been active in Brussels since 2006 and served as a “honey pot” for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and other politicians to publish their views, particularly those that benefited India and undermined Pakistan’s interests.Just 0.14% of content was actually from European lawmakers.
Some of these MEPs and other politicians would then travel to Geneva to participate in UN side events, news conferences, and demonstrations with minority-rights NGOs founded by the same actors, such as the European Organization for Pakistani Minorities.
The “Times of Geneva” and a false, ostensibly Geneva-based press agency, 4 News Agency, would then produce written and video content that would be re-used online by NGOs and disseminated via the global fake media network and/or an Indian news agency (ANI).
This effort was credited to the Srivastava Group of New Delhi, which had financed the journey of 27 MEPs to Kashmir and met with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in cooperation with the Women’s Economic and Social Think-Tank (WESTT).
In Brussels and Geneva, these UN-accredited NGOs collaborate with non-accredited think tanks and minority-rights NGOs.
The Srivastava group (formed by an ordinary journalist Dr.Govind Narain Srivastava a small agency backed by the Indian intelligentsia diversified from media to mining, oil drilling, energy, aviation, and international trading) founded several of them, including the European Organization for Pakistani Minorities (EOPM), Balochistan House, and the South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF).
These think tanks and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Geneva are in charge of lobbying, organizing six demonstrations, appearing at news conferences and UN side events, and they are frequently given the floor at the UN on behalf of recognized organizations.
The only worthwhile attention the op-eds written by the so-called scholars of EU chronicles comes from an Indian news agency, ANI (Asian News International), which frequently quotes these op-eds as genuine items from “independent media.
” ANI is the only press outlet to extensively cover the activities of dubious NGOs in Geneva.
The Big News Network and the World News Network, an extensive network of 500+ false local media in 95 countries that helped perpetuate bad ideas about Pakistan, were founded as a result of ANI’s coverage – and frequently misrepresentation – of the information created in Brussels and Geneva.
Using gaps in international institutions and online search engines, bad actors can repackage, distort, and amplify the operations of a fake zombie-NGO and a fake specialized media to influence or misinform the world.
The Srivastava Group’s effort, which was aided by ANI, began in 2005 and is still ongoing.
The goal of the operation is to denigrate countries in Asia that are having conflicts with India, particularly Pakistan and also with China.
The people behind EP Today and EU Chronicle registered more than 550 domain names for NGOs, think-tanks, media, informal European Parliament groups, religious organizations, obscure publishing enterprises, and 8 public figures.
A sizeable fraction of domain names were purchased in the context of Pakistan’s cyber warfare, ie to cyber squat on domains that Pakistan might later seek to use.
—The writer is Faculty DHA Suffa University Karachi, Department of International Relations.