India’s biggest disinformation campaign exposed

Indian fake media and NGOs spreading anti-Pakistan content are part of 15-year campaign

India has been involved in a massive 15-year disinformation campaign using a nexus of 750 fake news media outlets and thinktanks to serve Indian interests and to “discredit Pakistan internationally”, a new investigation by EU DisInfoLab has revealed.

The network was designed primarily to influence decision-making at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and European Parliament, EU DisinfoLab said.

“It is the largest network we have exposed,” said Alexandre Alaphilippe, executive director of EU DisinfoLab. “During the last 15 years, and even after being exposed last year, the fact that this network managed to operate so effectively shows the sophistication and the drive of the actors behind Indian Chronicles.”

Srivastava Group and ANI involved

One of the key findings of the open-source investigation was the involvement of Srivastava Group (SG) and at least 10 UN-accredited NGOs that were used to promote Indian interests and criticize Pakistan internationally.

EU DisinfoLab also found that Asian News International (ANI), India’s largest wire service, played an active part in spreading the lies and is under investigation. ANI was found re-publishing mostly anti-Pakistan and sometimes anti-China op-eds by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), originally published on EU Chronicle, one of the fake news sites linked to SG.

The network resurrected many defunct organizations as well as dead people to serve Indian interests.

Key facts on Indian Chronicles:                                            

  • a 15 year-long disinformation campaign running since 2005
  • 750+ fake media outlets, covering 119 countries
  • 10+ UN Human Rights Council accredited NGOs
  • The resurrection of Prof. Louis B. Sohn, a prominent figure in human rights, who died in 2006
  • Several identity thefts, including the name of Martin Schulz, former president of the European Parliament, photo of James Purnell, a former UK Government minister
  • 550+ domain names registered

Highlights of 15-year Indian disinfo campaign

The disinformation operation’s mission is to discredit nations in conflict with India in Asia, in particular Pakistan but also China to a lesser extent. Its long-term objective is:

  • To reinforce pro-Indian and anti-Pakistan (and anti-Chinese) feelings.
  • To improve the perception of India internationally, to damage the reputation of other countries it is in conflict with and ultimately benefit from more support from international institutions such as the EU and the UN.

The misinformation operation consists of:

  • The support to minority and human rights NGOs and think-tanks.
  • The use of Members of the European Parliament to create a mirage of institutional support from European institutions to these minority groups, in favor of Indian interests and against Pakistan (and China).
  • An active presence in Geneva and the UN Human Rights Council through:
    • side-events and demonstrations in support of minority rights;
    • impersonation of extinguished UN-accredited NGOs or use speaking slots reserved to various NGOs whose original missions seem totally unrelated.
  • The creation of fake media in Brussels, Geneva and across the world and the repackaging and dissemination via ANI and obscure local media networks – at least in 97 countries – to multiply the repetition of online negative content about countries in conflict with India, particularly Pakistan.

Read the full report here.

Zakhia Irfan
Zakhia is a dedicated journalist who loves to read and travel. She covers all aspects of aviation and travel news for Islamabad Scene.

Related Articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advert -spot_img

Latest Articles