The revocation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, prompted Pakistan to commemorate this date as Youm-e-Istehsal (Day of Exploitation) in order to incite the people of Jammu and Kashmir and launch international campaigns against India. These events are organized in government offices and Pakistani embassies worldwide. Under the guise of Youm-e-Istehsal, Pakistan not only advances its anti-India agenda but also spreads negative propaganda about Kashmir on a global scale. This year, Pakistan has once again unleashed its anti-India campaign on August 5, employing not only domestic propaganda but also the active involvement of Pakistani ambassadors stationed in various nations.
The DFRAC team has exposed the intended actions of Pakistan of August 5th this year, by effectively sharing accurate information and debunking false and deceptive news circulating on social media. Our team had published a specific #5AugustYoumEIstehsal (Day of Exploitation): Propaganda of Hate peddled by Pakistan, 3 years after the abrogation of A-370 report last year. The report unveiled Pakistan’s utilization of newly established social media accounts to disseminate copied content, with the intention of conducting propaganda campaigns on August 5th.
In this report, we will cover the following points:
- Analysis of the hashtag #ایکنظرکشمیر_پر, ran by Pakistan
- Activation of Pakistani bot accounts
- Google trend over ‘Kashmir’
- Annual Pattern of Youm-e-Istehsal and their hashtag campaign
Analysis of hashtag #ایکنظرکشمیر_پر, ran by Pakistan
There is an ongoing dissemination of propaganda on social media platforms in Pakistan concerning the Kashmir issue. Furthermore, the Pakistani bot army has intensified its efforts in promoting this narrative throughout the year. Notably, the hashtag #ایکنظرکشمیر_پر was employed, which aimed to draw attention to the situation in Kashmir and translates to ‘Take a look at Kashmir’.
The official account of ‘Human Rights Council Of Pakistan’ tweeted with the caption ,“Standing in solidarity on Youm-e-Istehsal, a powerful conference on Kashmir sheds light on the ongoing struggle. Together, let’s raise our voices for peace, justice, and freedom in the region”
On August 4, 2023, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, known as @ForeignOfficePk on Twitter, issued a statement. In this tweet, the Foreign Secretary commented on Kashmir, raising talks about human rights in Kashmir.
The commemoration of Youm-e-Istahsal was observed in various Pakistani embassies across different nations worldwide this year. The Consulate General of Pakistan in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, also took part in acknowledging Youm-e-Istehsal-e-Kashmir, as evidenced by their tweet.
Additionally, there was significant engagement from social media users in Pakistan regarding the events of August 5. Numerous Pakistani social media accounts were observed actively promoting the hashtag #ایکنظرکشمیر_پر. It is worth noting that a considerable number of these accounts were recently created within the past 2-3 months.
Activation of Pakistani bot accounts
Multiple Pakistani accounts were found to be actively tweeting on the designated hashtag within a brief time frame. Furthermore, numerous automated accounts, commonly referred to as bots, were identified to be tweeting at a rate of 5 to 6 tweets per minute.
Additionally, a specific account named Fatima from Pakistan was observed to be posting 5 to 6 tweets within a single minute, as depicted in the provided screenshot.
Furthermore, it was discovered that these Pakistani accounts engaged in repetitive tweeting of identical graphics. The accompanying screenshot illustrates the consistent dissemination of the same graphic by various accounts, following a uniform pattern.
Google trend over ‘Kashmir’
On August 5th, the term “Kashmir” gained significant attention on the Google search engine, with numerous countries actively seeking information on the topic. Notably, Pakistan exhibited a high level of interest in the subject with maximum number of search. India followed the trend with less than 50% of searches as compared to Pakistan. Additionally, searches for Kashmir originated from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bangladesh but less in number when compared to Pakistan.
It can be observed here that the pattern of search trends on Google had remained the same since 29th July. The fluctuations of the trend were also the same from time to time. But later Google searches started increasing from August 5, 2023.
Annual Pattern of Youm-e-Istehsal and their hashtag campaign
Pakistan endeavors to promote its narrative over the Kashmir issue through the utilization of social media platforms, particularly on the annual commemoration of “Youm-e Istehsal” (the Day of Exploitation) on the 5th of August. In August 2021, the verified Twitter account of the Prime Minister’s Office of Pakistan (@PakPMO) posted a tweet accompanied by the hashtag #YoumeIstehsal.
Following this, numerous social media accounts in Pakistan began promoting a hashtag in August 2021 called “Black Day In Kashmir”. Concurrently, hashtags like #FreeKashmir, #RedForKashmir, and #BlackDay were also utilized by Pakistan in the same year.
In August 2022, Pakistan once again pursued its agenda by directing its attention towards India and the issue of Kashmir. Numerous Pakistani social media accounts were found to be tweeting the hashtag #کشمیربن_کررہےگاپاکستان, which translates to ‘Kashmir will become Pakistan’.
In addition to this, a multitude of programs were arranged in various Pakistani embassies across different nations in 2022. These events were documented through photographs and shared on the official Twitter accounts of these embassies. Presented here is a compilation of tweets from Pakistani embassies, highlighting the programs organized with the theme of Youm-e-Istehsal (Day of Exploitation) on August 5, 2022, observed globally.
In 2022, an analysis was carried out on over 1,500 individuals who utilized the hashtag #5thAugustBlackDay on Twitter, originating from Pakistan. It was observed that these users had established new social media accounts specifically for the purpose of participating in this hashtag campaign.
Notably, more than 500 accounts were created solely in July 2022 with the intention of engaging in this campaign. Consequently, all of these accounts proceeded to tweet using the hashtag #5thAugustBlackDay on the occasion of 5th August, commonly referred to as Youm-e-Istehsal or Black Day.
The timeline given below shows more than 3000 posts shared in Pakistan on August 5, 2022, with these popular hashtags.
In the month of August, like clockwork, Pakistan unleashes its propaganda machine, creating a deceit over Kashmir issue. Their users, relentless in their mission, share a plethora of fabricated photos, misleading content, and deceptive videos, all in the name of Youm-e-Istehsal. This deceptive pattern even extended to the G-20 summit held in Kashmir.