Pakistan has launched a global media blitzkrieg on Kashmir. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had vowed to take the issue to world capitals and to make use of all international forums to raise the Kashmir issue. Pakistani diaspora has also stepped up its Kashmir campaign in countries wherever they have presence. So far Indian campaign against the Pakistani propaganda has been tepid.
A former Indian diplomat said though India takes strong and pro-peace steps, in propaganda warfare, India has always lost to Pakistan. This has happened in all wars India waged with Pakistan. South Asia specialist and author Myra MacDonald, in a tweet, stated: “Pakistan state propaganda has long focused on claiming itself as pro-peace in Kashmir even as it used anti-peace means (Islamist militants & nuclear threats) to undermine peace.”
It seems several Western politicians and media have lapped up the Pakistani version on Kashmir. As rightly pointed out by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi through his statements has given Pakistan stick to beat India. The Left-liberal media is also giving a lot of ammo to Pakistan in its anti-India campaign. Moreover, highly active Indian diaspora has not yet launched a concerted campaign to counter Pakistani lies.
Addressing the 56th Convention of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), US Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential aspirant for the US Elections 2020, termed India’s move to annex occupied Kashmir as “unacceptable”. “I am also deeply concerned about the situation in Kashmir where the Indian government has revoked Kashmiri autonomy, cracked down on dissent and instituted a communications blackout. The crackdown in the name of security is also denying the Kashmiri people access to medical care. Even many respected doctors in India have acknowledged that the Indian government-imposed restrictions on travel are threatening the life-saving care that patients need,” Sanders told the gathering.
Sanders’ words were music to Pakistanis’ ears after almost all major countries in the world, including Muslim countries, supported India on Kashmir.
Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and shadow Culture Secretary, addressing a group of Pakistanis in Birmingham, said: “As millions face a humanitarian crisis, I have sent a message of solidarity from Labour to the people of Kashmir. We call on the UK govt to ensure UN resolutions are fully implemented. The people of Kashmir deserve no less.”
Experts feel that India needs to step up its efforts to counter the Pakistani narrative on Kashmir. It is expected that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the UN will clear air on India’s stance on Kashmir.