All is set to discredit Pakistan’s General Elections 2024 globally through well-calculated media campaign

DND Thought CenterAll is set to discredit Pakistan's General Elections 2024 globally through well-calculated...

By Agha Iqrar Haroon

Islamabad, Pakistan: All is set to discredit Pakistan’s forthcoming General Elections 2024 globally through collaborated and synchronized media campaigns as the polling day of General Elections 2024 reaches closer.

   

The latest onslaught of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) over the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Chief Justice Supreme Court Qazi Faez Isa, and Pakistan Armed Forces, particularly COAS Gen Asim Munir is virtually uncontested as neither the interim governments sitting in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and Quetta are active enough to counter this campaign nor Pakistani missions working abroad are in contact with foreign media houses from where well-calculated articles, opinions and news are pouring in at global media sphere. Another tool that could counter such campaigns abroad is state-funded think tanks that are too avoiding standing with the state institutions.

Journalistic circles in Islamabad observing the situation have mixed opinions about the failure of state media managers to mitigate the situation. Some of them claim that the global campaign is funded by the House of Goldsmith as claimed by former President Asif Ali Zardari while some believe that the campaign is funded by unseen and hidden American organizations that are working extensively with PTI’s team living in the United States such as Dr. Mueed Pirzada, Dr. Shahbaz Gill and many others.

A small circle of journalists believes that there is no campaign specifically against the Army or Chief Justice of the Supreme Court but there is a lot of meat available in Pakistan’s political scene and foreign media by professional training is concentrating at Pakistan’s forthcoming General Elections 2024.

Whatever the reason, it looks true that the state media managers have categorically failed to devise any strategy to counter the situation well before because they should have an understanding of the situation well before this last phase of election campaigning. Media teams are headed by former journalists in the federal government, Punjab, and Quetta therefore they should have an idea what kind of foreign media onslaught would arrive because it was beyond any iota of doubt that PTI is involved in foreign-funded media campaigns and using them to creation illusion among masses. Even the screen of state-run television had been used for spreading PTI’s allegations against state institutions like the Chief Election Commission, Chief Justice of Pakistan, and Chief of Pakistan Army.

PTI is not afraid to take the responsibility of launching foreign propaganda companies by hiring the services of propaganda companies. The party is also not shy to accept that it has foreign funds and contacts with foreign think tanks and media houses. PTI circle confirms that over 500 foreign journalists and election observers have been picked to cover the February 8, 2024, General Elections. The whole scenario is enough to comprehend the skillful propaganda of PTI. Still, strangely the State of Pakistan is yet to confront PTI propaganda globally due to reasons best known only to the State.

An article titled “PTI’s onslaught over state institutions and the role of think tanks in Pakistan” rightfully indicated that ECP, CJP Qazi Faez Isa, and the Pakistan Army are standing uncovered in front of deadly propaganda attacks because the interim government being an impartial component is avoiding taking a firm stance to snub PTI and stating that the interim government is here only to facilitate ECP to hold free and fair elections while ECP has no arrangements to reach foreign media houses for telling its side of the story while PTI has thousands of its supporters abroad to malign ECP and has hired top propaganda firms to spread its side of the story.

The writer says that one of the important components that could help the state of Pakistan abroad is state-funded think tanks circle that it too is avoiding spreading the State narrative, considering the threats against the state are “political” in nature.

With these circumstances mentioned above, PTI’s heavy investment in America and Pakistan to influence the election 2024 is unchecked and it is understood that the propaganda aims to increase pressure on Pakistan through diplomatic and human rights institutions to get concessions for the ex-chairman and PTI by putting global pressure on the government and the military leadership. The propaganda is so effective that Imran Khan who is under trial in five cases of a criminal nature is being portrayed as a hero who is facing “two hundred cases”.

When contacted, responsible officials who are dealing with cases of Imran Khan were of the view that “getting Imran Khan and his associates out of the trap of the May 9 Mutiny is also the main objective of this foreign-funded and foreign propaganda project”. They claim that creating a gap between the armed forces and the people (fault line) is also a goal of this propaganda.

Several journalists have already claimed through their vlogs and articles that PTI’s plan includes making the February 8 elections controversial, making PTI the most popular party, and creating a 9 May-like Mutiny in the country just after the polling process is completed.

They further claim that to achieve the goals, the implementation of the project has also been started, the evidence has reached the hands of the institutions and added that in the past, resolutions were submitted to the US House of Representatives and human rights institutions to achieve the same goals. It may be mentioned that a resolution against Pakistan and its state institutions was submitted in the US House of Representatives by a member of Congress who is pro-India and Israel. This lobby group is already engaged in creating an anti-Pakistan narrative that has direct links with the PTI. It may be mentioned that emerging information suggests a relationship between PTI’s top social media managers with US intelligence agencies.

They claimed that a report is (was) also being submitted to the ICCRP to highlight the narrative of human rights abuses in Pakistan. They thought that a very biased documentary film was also prepared to portray the role of the Pakistani forces as “harsh, negative, and anti-human rights”.

There is no iota of doubt left that targeting the Pakistan Army, Intelligence Agencies, Election Commission, and Chief Justice of Pakistan through the publication of more sponsored/paid articles in American and Western media is also part of the PTI plan to discredit Pakistan and painting it as a “non-functional state”.

Meanwhile, some credible sources claim that all these activities are linked with “Operation Discredit Pakistan” while former President Asif Ali Zardari in one of his interviews claimed that all media campaigns against Pakistan and promoting PTI are actually “Operation Goldsmith”. Through this Operation, soon western media would be flooded with news that Pakistani intelligence agencies were making threats against Pakistani Americans.

If someone reviews Western media interests in Pakistan, articles published in the Intercept (December 18, 2023), the Economist (4 January 2024), the New York Times (19 January 2024), Al Jazeera (19/25 January 2024) and BBC Urdu (19/27 January 2024) have analogous content and allegations. It looks like either they were influenced by previously written articles or they got the same written material/pointers from PTI supporters provided them before they inked their content. Whatever the reasons are, one point cannot be ignored articles appearing in foreign media are in the same line and length as a speedy cricket ball of an expert cricket baller.

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