India’s insecurity level reaches the height where billions of dollars are spent on creating fake news agencies to defame and do propaganda against neighboring countries.
EU DisinfoLab unearthed Asian News International ANI as the mother organization that targeted the European Union and UN with over 750 fake local media outlets and more than 10 state-funded organizations.
ANI is the leading Indian news agency to start civil war amongst its rival countries by spreading fake news and manipulating the facts. Their vicious network is spread around the world that actually work for misleading and doing propaganda to undermine its neighboring countries, mainly China and Pakistan.
To work on their evil propaganda, Indian government resurrected dead NGOs at the UN. They impersonated the EU. They laundered fake content produced by ANI to real media and reached millions in South-Asia and across the world.
A 15-year-long investigation titled ‘Indian Chronicles’ named news agency ANI and Srivastava Group, which has been exposed for arranging a visit of the far-right Members of the European Parliament in 2019, as stakeholders of this operation.
This elongated campaign was designed to “denigrate” Pakistan and Kashmir at international forums. Which has now been busted by a Europe-based disinformation watchdog. the watchdog busted 500 pro-India websites operating across 115 countries. They were “found to be responsible for anti-Pakistan lobbying events in Europe.
Indian Media got internationally embarrassed and has now been declared as the most distrusted media around the world.
While tracking the Opinion section of the website, they found that almost all the op-eds were on topics favorable to Indian interests. For instance, treatment of minorities in Pakistan, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir region, the growing presence of China in the world, among others.
“We qualify these websites as fake local media when we cannot find any trace of original reporting, no significant track records of journalists working with these media and also no production of original content. It was very clear for instance for EU Chronicle, that none of the journalists or editors were real at all, and that most of the content was copy-pasted from legitimate media outlets.”
Alexandre Alaphilippe, director of EU DisinfoLab
The investigation found that a former chairman of the CSOP – Prof Louis B Sohn, one of the 20th Century’s leading international law scholars and a Harvard Law faculty member for 39 years – was listed under the name Louis Shon as a CSOP participant at the UNHRC session in 2007 and at a separate event in Washington DC in 2011.
The listings shocked the researchers because Prof Sohn died in 2006.
ANI is ruling the entire “influence operation” and Indian media rely completely on ANI than on any other distribution channel” to give it “both credibility and a wide reach to its content”.
ANI’s news reports have found space in many mainstream Indian news outlets and publishers. Its content was further reproduced on more than 500 fake media websites across 95 countries, the researchers found.
Last year, Facebook blocked networks linked to a global network of pro-Indian fake websites and think-tanks was exposed, which had been aimed at influencing decision-making in Europe.
But what’s notable this time is the number of verified accounts and apparently reputable news outlets that ended up putting out news that was utterly false, to millions of followers and readers.
It relies heavily on amplifying content produced on fake media outlets with the help of ANI – India’s largest wire service and a key focus of the investigation.
One of the most important findings of the open-source investigation was establishing direct links between the Srivastava Group (SG) and at least 10 UN-accredited NGOs, along with several others, which were used to promote Indian interests and criticize Pakistan internationally.
On other occasions, NGOs and organizations which seemingly had nothing to do with Pakistan or India according to their stated objectives would get the opportunity to speak at the UNHRC and target Pakistan.
hundred pro-Indian interventions by the non-accredited NGOs, which were repeatedly given the floor at the UNHRC on behalf of the accredited organizations, pursuing the same agenda of maligning Pakistan.