Timeline of Indian Information Operations against Pakistan (2005 – present)

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Timeline of Indian Information Operations against Pakistan (2005 - present)
Timeline of Indian Information Operations against Pakistan (2005 - present)

2005 Pre-existing lobbying efforts by the Indian government at the UN organized into a sophisticated and coordinated network by the Srivastava Group

A clear pattern of operations emerges:
○ Resurrect old UN affiliated NGOs and Think Tanks.
○ Lobby foreign journalists, academics and politicians to participate in them.
○ Amplify content via established as well as fake newswires and media outlets such as ANI.
● E.g Commission to Study the Organization of Peace (CSOP), a US based NGO – accredited with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) – that was inactive since the late 1970s, was resurrected and its identity hijacked in 2005.

2006 – 2008 Clear pattern develops of hosting side events and cultivating speakers for annual UNHCR
(March) and UNGA (Sept) sessions

  • Focus on lobbying efforts related more to Kashmir and the Balochistan issue
  • September: E.g Stephen Ciccioli speaks against Azad Kashmir on behalf of Srivastava linked European Union of Public Relations (EUPR) at the UNHCR.                                2009 Ramped up lobbying operations following the Mumbai Attacks
    ● Increased focus on Pakistan as a sponsor of jihad and radical Islam.
    ● Several NGOs related to peace, inter-religious cooperation and minority rights were set up and/or resurrected by the Srivastava group. e.g
  • International Club for Peace Research (ICPR) – African based Think tank created in 1995 focusing on peace that had been inactive since 2004.
  • International Council For Inter-Religious Cooperation (ICIRC) set up with the same address as EP Today and the Srivastava Group in Brussels.
  • The European Organization of Pakistani Minorities – created for organizing demonstrations about Pakistani minorities. It worked closely with another Srivastava NGO – Pakistani Women Human Rights Organization.

2010 Targeted focus on Members of European Parliament

  • EP Today (European Parliament Today) set up – a fake news outlet dedicated to promoting content from European MEPs lobbied by India.

2011 Emphasis on portraying Pakistan as a state hijacked by hardline fundamentalists

  • International Imam Organization set up by Ankit Srivastava: a platform for promoting ‘moderate’ Indian Muslims who are involved in the preaching of Quran.
    ● Meeting organized by International Council for Inter Religious Cooperation [ICIRC] between select EU MEPs and ‘moderate’ Indian clerics to promote interfaith harmony and dialogue while maligning Pakistan.
    ● Editor of Delhi based “New Age Islam” Sultan Shahin spoke at the UNHRC against Pakistan on state sponsored jihad and terrorism on behalf of the ICPR.
    ● South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF) was created with former MEP Paulo Casaca as its founder. The SADF shared the same physical address as the Srivastava Group’s Belgian offices.

2012 – 2014 Targeted Focus on portraying Pakistan Military negatively

  • Allegations of Baloch genocide – First SADF (South Asian Democratic Forum) event held at the UN Conference Centre in Geneva with Mehran Marri as key speaker.
    ● DNA India amplified a press release from ICPR (fake NGO) which was presented as a “Belgium-based” NGO which demanded an “enquiry into genocide in Bangladesh by Pakistani Army”.
    ● Madi Sharma known Indian state linked lobbyist and journalist sets up WESTT (Women’s Economic and Social Think Tank).
    ● 2013: The Baluchistan House is founded by Tarek Fatah (and operated by Mehran Marri) with activities extended to the US and Canada.

2015 Leveraging ongoing sentiments in Europe following the Charlie Hebdo incident and the ongoing refugee crisis

  • January: EU Chronicle (fake news portal like EP Today) Twitter account set up.
    ● September: “Democracy and secularism” side event organized by CEMS during 25th session of UNHCR.

2016 Marked Increase in (dis) info ops and likely increased funding following BJP victory

  • January: Multiple additional NGOs and Think Tanks hijacked by Srivastava group.
    ○ Center for Environmental and Management Studies (CEMS) setup as a Delhi based NGO accredited with the UN via the Srivastava group – Amjad Ayub Mirza known dissident appointed as Executive Director.
    ○ Canners International Permanent Committee (CIPC) – Paris based NGO (1938-2007) focusing on canned foods hijacked by Srivastava group.
    ○ Pan African Union for Science and Technology (PAUFST) Africa based organization (1987 – 2005) focusing on Science and tech in Africa hijacked by Srivastava group.
    ○ International Association for Democracy in Africa (IADA) US and Africa based organization setup in 1993 hijacked by Srivastava group.
    ● March: Result of expanded efforts apparent in subsequent UNHRC sessions.

 

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2017 Greater focus on denouncing CPEC – Linked to global fears over China’s Rise

  • March: During the 34th UNHRC session in March multiple events related to CPEC and the Balochistan Separatist movements were held in close coordination.
    ○ ‘Opposition against CPEC’ conference held at EU parliament building by Balochistan House and SADF.
    ○ Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) side event titled “In the Shadow of the Silk
    Road: Economic Exploitation and Human Rights Violations in Balochistan”, held at UNHCR.
    ● September: Same trend was witnessed in September during the 36th Session of the UNHCR.
    ○ ‘Stop Pakistan’ campaign in geneva. Event organized by Baloch Freedom Front.
    ○ Human rights in South asia side event organized by CEMS.
    ○ “Human rights defenders side event organized by CIPS.
    ○ Human rights in South-Asia” side event organized by IADA.

2018 Marked uptick in propaganda with multiple Indications of expanded funding – Introduction of sponsored international trips – Broader range of issues highlighted

  • Linked to ongoing debate over blasphemy in Pakistan and rise of TLP.
    ● Also linked to greater support and expansion of minority rights movements in Pakistan – Christian, Hindu, Sindhi, and Pashtun rights more forcefully highlighted in addition to the Baloch issue. e.g.,
    ○ March: ‘Seminar on Growing Extremism in South Asia; Repercussions for the West’ during the 37th
    Human Rights session of UNHRC – sponsored by Delhi based United Schools International (USI) and
    EFSAS (European Foundation for South Asian Studies).
    ○ August: World Sindhi Congress and speakers from the World Environment and Resources Council
    (WERC), opposed the construction of a dam in Pakistan. Both events were widely covered by the ANI.
    ○ September: Demonstration against Christian and Baloch minorities held in Geneva calling for Pakistan to be sanctioned.
    ● August: Funded trip to Maldives for “Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) Tomáš Zdechovský, Maria Gabriela Zoana, and Ryzsard Czarnecki, together with the former President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) Henri Malosse and EESC Member Madi Sharma.

2019 Multiple operations related to escalating tensions along LoC

  • February: Pulwama false flag and disinfo campaigns related to Balakot Strike.
    ● March: Event related to religious intolerance in Pakistan held in Geneva – focus on Blasphemy.
    ● August: Attempts to play up civ mil tensions following revocation of Article 370
    ● September: Voice of Pakistan’s minority demonstration about Christians in Pakistan in front of the Broken Chair in Geneva. 4 News Agency (New fake news outlet) pushed on social media. Linked to existing fake news network including Times of Geneva.
    ● October: Anti-Military propaganda on social media linked to significant rise in Indian shelling along LoC, goading Pakistan into a potential military engagement. At the same time a visit of 27 MEPS to IIOJK is arranged along with a meeting with PM Modi by Srivastava linked WESTT and International Institute for Non-Aligned Studies (IINS).
    ● December: Indian sponsored social media campaign highlighting ‘surrender’ of East Pakistan on Bangladesh Independence Day.

2020 Continuing trend of increasing info ops – Specific targeting of key state institutions and personnel

  • January: Multiple campaigns highlighting Pakistan’s silence on Uyghurs in China – linked to PM IK speeches.
    ● May: Coordinated campaign highlighting extrajudicial killings of minorities (mostly Pashtun and Baloch) by Pakistan Army.
    ● August: Coordinated campaigns on Balochistan and Partition linked to 14th August. Simultaneous campaigns on corruption allegations on General Asim Bajwa, related to Anti – CPEC narrative as well as FATF pressures.
    ● October: Disinfo campaign amplifying federal/provincial jurisdiction issues between Pak Army and Sindh Police – #CivilWarinPakistan and #CivilWarinKarachi
  • 2021 Increased focus on terrorism related sanctions being placed on Pakistan
  • February: Multiple campaigns and lobbying efforts to #BlacklistPakistan at FATF.
    ● April: Coordinated disinfo campaigns linked to TLP protests – claims of armed forces defecting to TLP/ Civil War and Mutiny narratives.
    ● June: Propaganda claiming assassination attempt on COAS – continuation of Mutiny narrative.
    ● July: Claims of Pakistani drones being spotted inside Indian High Commission in Islamabad and IIOJK air base.
    Coordinated pressure built via Afghan proxies and sympathetic NDS elements linked to deteriorating Afghan situation.
    ● August: #SanctionPakistan campaign in joint coordination with NDS to undermine Pak influence and actions in Afghanistan. Followed by campaigns to link Pak sponsoring regional terror groups such as Taliban, AQ and ISIS.
    ● September: Disinfo campaigns linked to highlighting Pak military involvement in Panjshir. Fake news of Pakistani drones and fighter jets in action over Afghanistan. Linked to the narrative of sanctioning Pakistani ‘annexation’ of Afghanistan via terrorist proxies.

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