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October 23, 2020

Non-existent Karachi civil war: Twitter slammed for ignoring Indian propaganda

National

October 23, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Multiple Pakistani politicians, including government ministers, Thursday slammed Twitter for its perceived inaction over Indian media peddling fake news about a 'Karachi civil war' a day ago.

The massive disinformation campaign had started when pro-India government accounts on Twitter sent out tweets about the non-existent civil war in Karachi a day earlier. Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said it was "unfortunate that @TwitterSupport [is deliberately] ignoring" the fake news being circulated.

"Facebook also indulging in Indian propaganda & hate posts! Similarly, Islamophobia rampant but heaven forbid if any word said implying even a querying comment on holocaust," Mazari said on Twitter, reports Geo News.

The minister quoted a tweet by digital rights activist and lawyer, Nighat Dad, who had called out Indian Supreme Court advocate Prashant Patel Umrao over his claims that "10 police officers of Sindh Police [were] martyred during their line of duty of saving people of Karachi" and that the "US Navy may enter Karachi port soon".

Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Haider Zaidi, however, blamed the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), saying the "Indian media propaganda [is] at its peak & sadly fueled by the PDM circus".

States and Frontier Regions (Safron) Minister Shehryar Afridi highlighted the Indian media's "fake, fabricated and malicious propaganda campaign to malign state institutions of #Pakistan". Afridi called upon Twitter to take action against "Indian Social Media accounts which are involved in nefarious attacks of fake news against Pakistan".

On the other hand, PPP's Senator Sherry Rehman termed Pakistan’s internal dissent "a sign of its political health". Rehman explained that it meant "democracy is never one person or view; that when freedoms are curtailed people push back; that when constitutional rights are under threat, the brave speak out".

A day prior, Indian media got a little carried away by the goings-on in Pakistan's biggest port city and manufactured an entire civil war complete with pitched gun battles between rival forces, bombings, and an imaginary area in Karachi called — quite ridiculously — "Gulshan-e-Bagh".

Among those at the top of the disinformation campaign were India Today, Zee News English, CNN News18, and India.com — all verified Twitter accounts — claiming that armed clashes had erupted in Karachi.