The Report will cover:
- What is Pakistan Strategic Forum and how the account works on a specific agenda.
- Fake/Misleading Content
- Hateful Narratives
- Pakistan-China Relations
Pakistan Strategic Forum (PSF) @ForumStrategic as its twitter bio states is an independent think tank run by an international team of researchers, delivering the intelligence that needs to make informed decisions on geopolitics with a following of 58.8k
The account mainly focuses on making Pakistan in the good books of international countries. The account was created on December 2019 and the first tweet from this account was done on 13th December 2019 on COAS visit to Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and has been quite active since then.
It is noticed through the graph that the highest peak in the timeline is noticed on 14th and 15th Aug 2021 which shows major tweets on Afghanistan matter with 143 and 130 tweets done respectively.
Not only the account is concerned about the issues of Pakistan but is very much interested on the issues of Kashmir and minorities.The account mainly tries to provoke the people living in Kashmir, by distracting them through their content. It also tries to showcase each and every incident in the headlines of the international media by time and again tagging UN bodies on the tweets related to Kashmir.
The page is not just limited to instigating Kashmiris, but also spreads many fake and misleading news on India. The posts are done in such a way that it makes sure that people living on other countries get a hateful notion on India and its secularism. Major posts tell people how the Hindu dominating country is supressing its minorities and not giving them their worthy rights.
- Peddled misinformation on Bangladesh PM Hasina’s visit:
Pakistan Strategic Forum claimed that the CM of Assam is advocating for the “reintegration” of Bangladesh into India. A thread was shared by the account which stated that “Embarrassment for Bangladeshi people to see that during Bangladesh Prime Minister’s visit to India, the CM of Assam and a member of the ruling BJP party is advocating for the “reintegration” of Bangladesh into India and asking his colleagues to “work for Akhand Bharat”.
On the official website of the Press Information Bureau (PIB), we found a viral image. In the description of the picture it was mentioned, “The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi signing the visitor’s book at the Bangabandhu Mausoleum Complex, in Tungipara, Bangladesh on March 27, 2021. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Ms. Sheikh Hasina is also seen.”
- 2. Showed Kashmir as World’s largest open Air Prison
According to the article posted by the Pakistan Strategic Forum it states, “ Occupied Kashmir territory, inhabited by its indigenous Kashmiri people who do not identify as Indians, and turning the beautiful valley into the world’s largest open-air prison, with extremist-level stifling of any dissent, a complete communications ban and hundreds of thousands of Indian military forces to crush any idea of freedom.”
We searched if Kashmir has really become a world’s largest open air Prison on 5th August.
We found many articles on different media houses that shows how the occasion was celebrated by the people of Kashmir. The Bakshi stadium was dedicated to the public on the occasion of the third anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 and also the day was declared as “Bharashtachar Mukti Divas” by LG Sinha.
- 3. Sikhs have Hoisted a Khalistan Flag on Red Fort
In reality, the flag was not of Khalistan but Nishan Sahib (The Nishan Sahib symbolises the presence of the Khalsa and hence is hoisted at every Gurdwara premises). The mast where the protesters hoisted the Nishan Sahib was empty. The Indian national flag continued to remain hoisted on top of the Red Fort and wasn’t disturbed by protesters.
- 4. “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans shouted in Maharashtra
Another account of PSF called Conflict Watch PSF (@AmRaadPSF) posted a video of news the India channel ANI claiming that “Pakistan zindabad slogans are shouted by PFI in Maharastra.
Posted the video the account tweeted, “#Pakistan Zindabad” slogans in #Maharashtra, #India! Govt of #NarendraModi is pushing minorities beyond their limits. RSS mobs malign Mosques, Churches & other worship places. Tyrannically #RSS, is polarizing #Indian community. Now the curtain of Secularism has been crippled.”
While investigating DFRAC team listened carefully to the entire video and found that n
o slogan of “Pakistan Zindabad” was raised but instead it was “Popular Front Zindabad”
also, police too have denied any such happening.
Clearly, ANI and Conflict Watch PSF ran a Fake News.
- 5. No right to Women is granted in India
The account tweeted, “Indians are worried about “Women Rights” in all over the world except India.”
In camparision to Pakistan according to the data, provided by World Bank India has 75% rate as of 2019 whereas Pakistan has 42% Female School Enrollment Rate.
Below graph shows that the account has tweeted about India over a long period of time. The first tweet on India by the account was on 14th Dec 2019 (after the day the account was created) where the account has mocked the Bollywood movie on Balakot Airstrike by the filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor. PSF has tweeted on India over a period of time. In the below graph, it is seen that the red line indicates the tweets on “India” and the grey line indicated all tweets by the account.
The page has posted many hateful content to instigate the Kashmiris. Knowingly, that Jammu and Kashmir is integral part of India. The account tries its best to tarnish the image of India on International level.
- Twitter Space: Theaccount of Pakistan Strategic Forum creates Twitter Spaces (live audio conversation) to discuss on various topics. In one of the spaces, they have discussed on the topic “Situation in IIOJK” on 15 Sept 2022 where there were many speakers with large number of followers.
The discussion is trying to play with the minds of Kashmiris as a member of the discussion panel غزوہ ھند (Ghazva-e-Hind) @Ghaznave17wr786 who is a supporter of PTI states, “Kashmiris shall give us a green signal once they have learned self-defence for example compile all your weapons, learn martial arts, boxing etc. it also states, “we cannot take Kashmir only through chit chat as we are doing it from last 75 years.”
Many accounts which participated in the discussions are withheld within India including a verified account @SheryarAfridi
- They often in their posts claim that Kashmir belongs to Pakistan and must be taken from Indians at any cost.
- The account quote retweeted the tweet of famous former cricketer Gautam Gambhir stating, “Of course Kashmir is Pakistan.”
- The account again quote retweeted a picture of Salal Dam in Reasi district which was illuminated in tricolour on the eve of 75th Independence Day posted by news agency ANI and stated, “Just turn off the ‘Red lights’, the other two actually define the word ‘Independence’ for the people of IIOJK.”
2. To demean the image of Indians and Indian society as a whole in front of global bodies the accounts have taken the most popular cases of high profile people from India and hyped it as a fake propaganda against India.
- The account blames Indian government, in the murder of famous singer Sidhu Moosewala and provided it with an angle of minorities are not safe in India. The account posted a whole thread on the issue.
With the news of Sidhu Moosewala being shot dead in Mansa, Punjab, Pakistan started mushrooming on the #RawKilledMoosewala and changing the narrative of the incident. The news first came out at around 6:15pm on May 29th and the first tweet which came up upon Twitter was from a Pakistani account.
Forum Strategic, also tweeted on the incident of Gen. Bipin Rawat crash claiming that the chopper of the General Rawat was shot down by the Tamil insurgents. This tweet is nowhere to be found on their account as the tweet has been deleted by them.
The claim by the @ForumStrategic is clearly false and misleading, As the reports by The Times of India and NDTV say that the chopper carrying 14 army personnel including General Rawat and his family members got crashed as an accident and not due to some shooting of Tamil insurgents.
- October 24, 2021 marks the first game of the T20 World Cup 2021 tournament between Pakistan & Indian Cricket Team. For both countries the match was monumental as the history of India-Pakistan rivalry continues to persist even in sports. India lost the match, handing Pakistan its first win against the arch rival at any World Cup. Amid to this issue the account commented demeaning words on Indian Cricketer Md. Shami giving fire to the trend that was started by many Pakistani accounts.
Promoting China-Pakistan Relations:
The accounts promote China-Pakistan relations by promoting Chinese narratives through the page.
In this report, we have quashed the propaganda of Pakistan Strategic Forum who tries to deteriorate the image of India internationally. The account tries its best to interfere on the internal matters of India by keeping a keen eye on matters related to Jammu and Kashmir and on other minorities of India, it too calls all the major parts of India belongs to one country or the other, as it mentions Kashmir belongs to Pakistan, Punjab to Khalistan and Ladakh to China. Not only this, the account also tries to manipulate people with their content. The account is clearly made to target India and to initiate an info war towards it.
In the report we have mentioned many accounts which are withheld by the government of India for posting lies on India and its secularism, these accounts are a part of the network of PSF. The last part of the report shows how this account is trying to make an alliance with china and promotes their friendship.
This is not the first time any such propaganda of Pakistan has been debunked by DFRAC. The team has time and again exposed the agendas and strategies of such accounts and how they work on the model of info war to demean India on international forum.