Over the last few days, a report by the EU DisInfo Lab titled ‘Indian Chronicles’ has created a lot of ‘hungama’ on mainstream and social media.
The EU DisInfo Lab Report claims to have un-earthed a vast network of Information warfare against Pakistan on behalf of India.
But contrary to the impression created by Pakistani officials, EU DisinfoLab has no affiliation to the European Commission or any of its sub committees. It is actually an NGO, registered in Brussels, Belgium.
This private NGO has no phone number or email or address on its website.
It is hardly a secret that Indian and Pakistani Intelligence services run propaganda campaigns against each other. Large numbers of Pakistani fake social media accounts, created for propaganda, have been exposed in the past.
The Imran Khan government has tried to use the NGO report on Indian disinformation to attack Pakistani dissidents.
The NGO itself says that such attacks are unwarranted.
Now, coming to the report ‘The Indian Chronicles’ itself. This report has numerous limitations and at places is found wanting in terms of corroboration.
The Report, despite claims of being based on open sources, actually has a lot of information that could only be obtained with insider access.
Furthermore, it does not provide any reference or evidence of how they obtained this information.
The Report appears to have been written from a ‘Pakistani point of view,’ where protests by minority groups are dubbed as “anti-Pakistan” and “pro-India.” Any neutral entity would not have used these terms.
Bringing ANI and other Indian media outlets appears to a deliberate attempt to malign these outlets. But the activities conducted by these outlets that are noted in this report are legitimate for any news agency.
Further, the report clubs together a number of organizations and groups set up across the world by Pakistani minorities and dissidents, as being one big conspiracy (supported by the Indian state) against Pakistan, without providing an iota of evidence for these assertions.
The coverage of these groups’ activities by Indian media is hardly evidence of their being backed by India.
Did EU Disinfo Lab get used by Pakistan intelligence’s disinformation wing to attack India’s disinformation activities?
If so, the BBC and other mainstream media should have been careful in reporting on the report. They should have, at least, told their audience that this report is by an NGO, not the European Union or any of its official institutions.
Also, the manner in which this report has been used by Pakistani officials will only end up hurting and undermining genuine human rights activities about Pakistan, which EU Disinfo Lab says it does not want to do.
Finally, the report does not claim or prove that any of information under investigation was false.
What, then is the disinformation, if some outlets or networks spread information that is not proved false?
“This otherwise correct news becomes disinformation if Indians are involved in its spread” is a rather ISI kind of line, is it not?