Home Global Village Kashmir issue: Indian media follows Israel’s Hasbara model

Kashmir issue: Indian media follows Israel’s Hasbara model


Muhammad Mueen Ahmad |

A Survey from Microsoft shows that India is a hotbed of fake news compared to any other country of the world. The survey shows around 64% of Indians are confronted by fake news via mainstream media with a comparison of the worldwide average of 57 percent. Microsoft further reveals that a big chunk of Indian population around 54% encounters internet hoaxes as compared to the global average of 50%. In recent past, fake news circulated on and inculcated in social media in general and Whatsapp, in particular, has taken lives of 40 compatriots by Indian themselves.

 Hasbara’s Indian Version

“Hasbara” is derived from Hebrew which means “explanation” −explanation of wrongdoing in the cover of specious arguments and noble persona. History of “Hasbara” goes back to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 when Israel took up the gauntlet of the massacre of Lebanese with great gusto. This bloodshed drew the attention of the International community and media to unleash monstrous violence being committed by Israeli forces in Lebanon and Palestine.

Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir remains consistent during a decades-long rivalry with India and conforms to the United Nations’ resolution that emphasizes on giving Kashmiris the right to decide their destination themselves through a plebiscite.

Strident human right voices started echoing on international forums against atrocities of Israel. Meanwhile, Israel and her handful but strong sympathizers launched “Hasbara” headlong to let up all voices against Israeli brutalities. In simple words “Hasbara” is, more or less, a type of public diplomacy that renders Israel to take circuitous routes to hide her gamut of human right violation and strong rebuttal of International Law. The same implication of “Hasbara” type diplomacy can be seen in India over Its decades-long illegal occupation of Kashmir.

This year counts 72 years of the unlawful and outrageous seizure of freedom of Kashmiri people. Kashmir was a free state at the time of partition of the subcontinent. Muslims had a major demographic hold over Kashmir. Ruler of State Kashmir Raja Hari Singh made the ambiguous wish of Kashmir merger with India that went against the desires of Muslim majority of Kashmir. Since then India keeps decimating innocent Kashmiri people and deployed more than 0.5 million military personnel that make Kashmir world’s most volatile and highly militarized slice of land.

Read more: Pakistan succeeds in rallying up diplomatic support against India’s oppression in…

The same “Indian-Version-Hasbara” works here to chide any rightful voice against India oppression. One may see this “Hasbara” in form of Bollywood, sports, culture exchange diplomacy. With her mainstream media, India shows freedom-fighters of Kashmir as a proscribed faction of Kashmiri-society to the world. But Pakistan somehow managed to unveil ambiguous tall claims of India over IOK.

Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir remains consistent during a decades-long rivalry with India and conforms to the United Nations’ resolution that emphasizes on giving Kashmiris the right to decide their destination themselves through a plebiscite.

Sabotaging Pakistan’s Peace Efforts

Chequered history shows that Pakistan, more or less, tried her best to earn India dubious distinction over a matter of Kashmir in the International community. But due to ad hoc and lackluster attempts and successful Indian-Version-Hasbara policy make Pakistan’s efforts land on flimsy grounds.

Talk shows and exclusive TV programs were aired to create an anti-Pakistan narrative by Modi-sponsored Indian media to have a say to vote for BJP in other words during election campaigns.

Intermittency in peace talks between two rivals happens with terrorist attacks either in India or in IOK. Uri attack, Mumbai attacks are the recent incidents after which Indian media jumped in to air their anti-Pakistani proclivities and tried to set Pakistan-against narrative by deviating world’s attention from Kashmir issues to terrorism that was much more to do with Pakistan based outlawed militant groups. Like every time, this time too an unprecedented event was expected due to the multifaceted equation of the region; Indian general election 2019, CPEC success, the Afghan peace process, FDI and improving social indicators of Pakistan. Amid all these developments, Pulwama Attack occurred.

14 Feb 2019 was observed a heavy day for Kashmiris more than ever. Suicide attack at Pulwama took lives of more than 40 paramilitary soldiers of India. Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), an outlawed and banned militant organization, took responsibility for the attack.

Indian media, again, pointed fingers towards Pakistan and accused Pakistan of its assistance in history’s deadliest attack on India military. Pulwama Attack changed the course of Indo-Pak nexus diplomatically, militarily and above all, a war of perception took a fresh start on social media in general and mainstream media in particular. Fake news were being aired, not unintentionally, and full-fledge-planned-narrative was being spread across the world. Falsified news broadcasted on India media aimed at creating war hysteria among Indians that might prove breeding ground for Modi’s BJP to clean swipe the election 2019. Talk shows and exclusive TV programs were aired to create an anti-Pakistan narrative by Modi-sponsored Indian media to have a say to vote for BJP in other words during election campaigns.

Read more: Hindu extremism: Amnesty urges India to ensure Kashmiri’s safety

Let’s delineate the chronology of events and aftermaths of Pulwama Attack that engulfed the subcontinent with a fear of conventional-turned-nuclear war between two highly armed rivals:

  • 14 Feb 2019; Pulwama Attack took place, 40 plus soldiers killed
  • 14 Feb 2019; Jaish-e-Muhammad took responsibility
  • 14 Feb 2019; Indian media and politicians started accusing Pakistan of Its involvement in the attack
  • 14 Feb 2019; Pakistan condemned the attack and denied the false accusation of Its any involvement
  • 14-25 Feb 2019; Indian media started warmongering against Pakistan
  • 14-25 Feb 2019; Indian celebrities were persuaded to give anti-Pakistan statements
  • 26 Feb 2019; India claimed it carried out a surgical strike in AJK and incinerated 200-300 terrorists by bombarded 1000kg bombs on training camp of JeM in Balakot (AJK)
  • 26 Feb 2019; Pakistan officially accepted that IAF jets violated LoC and dropped their payloads in Balakot but denied any infrastructure damage or any causality.
  • 27 Feb 2019; PAF took 6 non-military targets in IOK but rather near to military deployment in order to show India Pakistan’s will and capabilities
  • 27 Feb 2019; During the dogfight, PAF shot down two fighter jets of IAF and captured one Indian Pilot (Wing Commander Abhinandan)
  • 27 Feb 2019; India media first denied the fact of shooting down of Its jets by PAF and termed it a technical fault in jets and pilot was missing but due to international media pressure they eventually had to admit their jets shot down by PAF and pilot was in Pakistan’s custody
  • 28 Feb 2019; Pakistan announced the release of the captured pilot as a “peace gesture”
  • 01 Mar 2019; India media passed off the release of the pilot by Pakistan into India’s “strategic win” and diplomatically a pragmatic lead−not a peace gesture of Pakistan− and kept creating a confused environment within the country and in the international community as well

International inter-governmental organizations should take stern action to halt such exercises. They should make laws that must be “binding” in nature and force every member country to get these laws ratified from their domestic governments.

Finally, International media came forth with much rational news that made Indian false claim more promulgated to the world. International media showed their partial unbiasedness and rejected Indian claims of killing 200-300 terrorists in Pakistan. They also shed light on the fact the Kashmir issue is inevitable and terror attack was a repercussion of Indian brutalities on Kashmiri people that force them to join such inimical forces to take revenge.

This warmongering and war hysteria created by Indian media are not by chance but by choice. It is a tool of 5th generation war or better to say hybrid war to change the perception of country and world to accomplish some political, economic, diplomatic and military gains. Keep public unaware and blindfold them from true information is itself a violation of basic human rights carted in UN charter. The poison of 5th generation war is stealthily percolating in burgeoning youth bulge and is ubiquitous in nature.

Read more: Post-Pulwama: Kashmiri spirit and Indian instability, both on rise

International inter-governmental organizations should take stern action to halt such exercises. They should make laws that must be “binding” in nature and force every member country to get these laws ratified from their domestic governments. If not done so, no one will mitigate imminent disaster in Human history that is ready to come!

Muhammad Mueen Ahmad is CSS aspirant and runs a community organization named HOPE PAK (Harmony For Peace And Empowerment-Pakistan) working for peace and empowerment of youth. He can be reached at Mueen.ahmad@outlook.com. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.