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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday accused the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) of spreading anti-Pakistan agenda on social media at the behest of India and Afghanistan.

Addressing a joint presser with the National Security Advisor (NSA), Dr Moeed Yusuf, the minister said fake news against Pakistan is being spread on social media. “Some of our own people are involved in this campaign at the behest of India,” he said.

The PTM, he said, is instrumental in the trend on social media under the hashtag “SanctionPakistan”.

The minister said the Digital Media Wing of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has analysed social media data of the last two years, which, he said, establishes the fact that anti-Pakistan trends on social media are carried from India and Afghanistan.

The PTM ran 150 trends and was behind 3.7 million tweets, majority of which emanated from India, he said.

“SanctionPakistan trend was tweeted 800,000 times. PTM was behind 30,000 tweets related to Karima Baloch and 10,000 tweets related to Usman Kakar’s death,” Chaudhry said

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Some anti-Pakistan social media trends were sponsored by Israel as well, he said.

“Unfortunately, some of Pakistan’s political parties also contributed in spreading filthy propaganda against Pakistan,” the minister said.

He said social media trends launched by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) were supported by India.

“Fake news is spreading on social media and Pakistan’s media also contributes to spreading these trends. There was fake news about Zulfi Bukhari’s visit to Israel and other rumours that became trends. A trend was launched from India regarding the Noor Mukadam murder case that Pakistan is not a safe country for women,” the minister said.

Dr Yusuf said India’s NSA has a budget of 3.33 billion rupees to run fake propaganda against Pakistan.

“Our think tanks have provided evidence that campaigns against Pakistan on social media are being run by India and Afghanistan. These social media trends are being run in a coordinated manner,” he said.

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The NSA said Pakistan decided to “unveil all such conspiracies against the country.”

“Anti-Pakistan trends are being run on the themes based on sub-nationalism, targeting China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) directly, putting Pakistan in black list of FATF (Financial Action Task Force) and holding Pakistan responsible for chaos in Afghanistan,” the NSA said.

Dr Yusuf said these trends are generated and supported with the help of artificial intelligence. The NSA said Pakistan believes in a peaceful neighbourhood, adding that the only solution to the Afghan conflict is dialogue.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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