Saleem’s excellent investigative work that helped expose a covert propaganda ring has received a lot of attention. Spearhead Research has changed the registration information to a privacy company for its website and its other sites, and the other websites have begun disappearing completely. This is not surprising. The same thing happened a few years ago when Cafe Pyala exposed another covert propaganda ring. In fact, I want to thank Cafe Pyala for their excellent work as it has given the idea to start tracking these websites when they show up. Just because these are being quietly removed, it is all but certain that new ones are already being prepared to take their place. However, there is another point that needs to be made about this attempt to fool people with invented ‘news’ stories and orchestrated narratives. It doesn’t only take place on the internet. It is taking place every night in our homes.
Before any evidence about Pathankot attack had been released, mainstream journalists were rushing to their desks to declare the attack a ‘false flag’ operation.
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) January 2, 2016
Websites with links to GHQ were frantically spinning the ‘false flag’ yarn, even claiming that ‘Many such allegations of terror attacks on Pakistan have ultimately proven to be a false flag’. Actually, this is not exactly correct. However it would be correct to say that many allegations of false flag have been made. In fact, Pakistan media is so obsessed with the ‘false flag’ narrative that it even declares such attacks before they ever happen!
Last February, The Nation published a piece that predicted that, “India is likely to conduct a premeditated false flag operation leading to an eye-catching act of terrorism in Indian occupied Kashmir. Such an incident would be promptly blamed on Pakistan”. In 2013, Humayun Gauhar wrote in Pakistan Today that everything from massacre of Sikhs in Kashmir before President Clinton’s visit to 2001 attack on India’s Parliament to 26/11 to 9/11 were ‘false flag’ attacks. The News hinted that last year’s Gurdaspur attack was another ‘false flag’. Senator Rehman Malik is quoted in the media saying he has proofs that 26/11 was a ‘false flag’ attack to defame Pakistan and ISI (editor’s note: these proofs have never seen light of day). Even 1971 hijacking was supposedly an Indian ‘false flag’ according to The News. Express Tribune has blamed terrorism on Afghans posing as Pakistanis for ‘false flag’ operations:
Thousands of Afghans use false documents to obtain a Pakistan identity card every year, and a minority of those flying under a false flag go on to commit acts of terrorism both in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
And this doesn’t even begin to count the real crazies like Ahmed Quraishi and Zaid Hamid…
This begs the obvious question if every attack is a ‘false flag’, why are jihadis always so eager to announce that they plan to carry out attacks? Syed Salahuddin openly admits he is organizing attacks. Hafiz Saeed openly talks about his groups carrying out jihad. Masood Azhar openly tells of his suicide bombers. If every attack is a ‘false flag’, are these jihadi leaders RAW agents? If this is the case why don’t our security forces arrest them!
We have already shown how certain powerful interests create fake websites to advance their agenda. But these psy ops games are not limited to websites only. Just as APP quoted a story from a fake media site and that story was then used in Business Recorder, mainstream media channels are also vulnerable to such manipulations. Lifafa journalism is sadly nothing new in Pakistan, and it still exists as was proven when Mubashir Lucman and Meher Bokhari were caught unaware.
Sadly even though Pakistan media is nominally free, the reality is much different. Journalists are being threatened by the Army to tow the official line. Critical or embarrassing reports are hidden from the public, even when it embarrasses the nation in the eyes of the world. Under such pressurisation, what is left? As we can see, fake propaganda websites are only the beginning.