After proxy war in Kashmir, Pak launches cyber war against India and PM Modi
Indian security agencies have linked the spurt in social media messages targeting India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a coordinated effort that has the “imprint” of Pakistani intelligence.
According to an assessment handed to the government on Wednesday, the effort was designed to flood social media with messages to fuel anti-India sentiment, particularly in the Gulf countries, “by spreading false propaganda on Islamophobia in India”.
The Pakistani deep state, the report said, was attempting to bring a schism between India and close allies in the Gulf by attacking PM Modi who has invested heavily to deepen India’s ties with the Middle-East.
The assessment by North Block includes a long list of troll handles based in Pakistan and in the Gulf countries that were being used to achieve this objective.
The spike in social media messages targeting New Delhi isn’t a first.
Security officials had noticed a similar pattern last year when Jammu and Kashmir was placed under a communication lockdown last August, hours before Parliament took up legislation to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status under the Constitution.
On social media and otherwise, Pakistan had made a concerted effort to embarrass India over nullification of Article 370 but didn’t get far, a government official said.
There was also evidence how new terror groups funded by the Pakistani deep state first made their presence felt on social media even before it launched the first attack in Srinagar. All when the Internet was still banned in Kashmir.
“What has been the novelty in the instant case is the use of prominent personalities in Gulf countries to scale up a systematic agenda of fake propaganda … This effort has clear imprints of the involvement of Pakistan ISI,” a top government official told Hindustan Times, citing the analysis of tweets that targeted New Delhi.