Pakistan seeks empowered Media to fight misinformation campaigns

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has underscored the need for building capacities and technological resourcefulness of the media in the developing countries to combat fake news, saying factual information was the “greatest need” of the people.
“The rapid pace of advances in new technologies, particularly in digital technologies, are having a major impact on the world, affecting all our work on human progress, sustainable development and international peace and security,” Ambassador Aamir Khan, deputy permanent representative of Pakistan, said during a discussion at the UN.
Khan made his remarks at an informal briefing by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, Melissa Flemming, to member states of the Committee on Information (COI) on the activities of the Department of Global Communications, particularly in the context of establishing and international code of conduct and the issues of integrity on digital platforms.
In this regard, he expressed his concern over the challenges of disinformation, including Islamophobia, Xenophobia, discrimination and hate speech, saying these issues needed to be further discussed.
The Pakistani envoy called for ensuring global access for all nations, organizations and individuals to the emerging technologies, especially for the developing countries.
In this context, Aamir Khan expressed appreciation for the recent launch of a United Nations website in Urdu, known as “UN Khabarnama” (UN Newsletter) that reaches millions of people worldwide.
Against the backdrop of worsening weather-induced disasters around the world, including last August’s devastating floods in Pakistan, he lauded the coverage of climate-related events, especially the solidarity visit of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Pakistan following that tragedy.
In spite of two major exposes against the wire service in 2019 and 2020, Asian News International — a major Indian ‘news’ agency — continues to peddle disinformation using “non-existent” sources and ghost “experts” to target regional rivals, particularly Pakistan and China.
This was revealed by the EU DisinfoLab in its latest investigation report ‘Bad Sources (BS)’ into anti-Pakistan and China influence operations as part of its follow-up on two previous investigations.
In its earlier reports, the DisInfoLab had said ANI “regularly quoted the defunct ‘EP Today’ and ‘EU Chronicles’, two fake media outlets supposedly specialising in EU affairs that were, in fact, created to push anti-Pakistan/China narratives in India”.
This time again, ANI — which acts as a purveyor of news to millions of Indians — is the kingpin of this disinformation network. Interestingly, typographical errors and “fake personae” are the trademark of this operation — rather these are the telltale signs that the wire service peddles fake news. –Agencies