Pakistan Army employs PR firm to share anti-India propaganda; Facebook takes down network

Indulging in shocking anti-India PR, Facebook has taken down targetted networks in May 2020 due to Co-ordinated Inauthentic behaviour (CIB) by Alpha Pro

Indulging in shocking anti-India hate propaganda, Facebook has taken down targetted networks in May 2020 due to Co-ordinated Inauthentic behaviour (CIB). The CIB report accessed by Republic on Monday, shows that the pages associated with AlphaPro, a Pakistan-based PR firm posted many anti-India posts posing as international news entities, criticising India's COVID management, treatment of Muslims, Kashmir, and pro-Pakistan commentary. As per Alpha Pro's website Inter-Services Public Relations, Pakistan Army is listed as one of its clients.

Exposed: Pakistan army links with PR firm to share anti-India posts

The CIB report reads, "We removed 40 Facebook accounts, 25 Pages, six Groups and 28 Instagram accounts that originated in Pakistan and targeted primarily domestic audiences in Pakistan, in addition to also focusing on English, Arabic and Pashto-speaking audiences globally. We found this activity as part of our internal investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior with some links to the network we removed in April 2019. We linked this latest operation to individuals associated with AlphaPro, a Pakistan-based PR firm".

It adds, "Some of these Pages posed as international news entities and frequently shared what appears to be original video content. This network appeared to be active across multiple internet services and posted about news and current events in the region, including the ongoing global pandemic; criticism of India and its treatment of Muslims, particularly in the Kashmir region; and also supportive commentary about Pakistan". Facebook listed that the network has 40 accounts, 25 pages, 6 groups and 28 Instagram accounts with over 800,000 followers and an advertising spending of $40,000.

Here are some of the posts:

About Alpha Pro

As per their website, Alpha Pro is a digital media firm headquartered in Islamabad with footprint in Lahore and across Pakistan. It produces video, audio and written content for web, newspapers, and magazines and creates outreach campaigns for a wide range of corporate sector clients and development sector projects. Listed as its commercial sector clients are several Chinese firms based in Pakistan - Zong, Power China Hub, Port Qasim Electric Power Company Private Ltd and several Public sector clients like Inter-Services Public Relations, Pakistan Army, City District Government (Rawalpindi), Water and Sanitation Agency.

Pakistan's India flip-flop

While Pakistan has continuously criticised India over the revocation of Article 370, CAA, Kashmir, terrorism, COVID-19 management, on  February 25, India and Pakistan reiterated the existing mechanisms of hotline contact and border flag meetings. agreeing to a ceasefire. Moreover, Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa called for India to 'bury the past and move forward' as the peace between the two neighbours would help to 'unlock' the potential of South and Central Asia. Immediately, Pakistan PM Imran Khan backtracked maintaining that no talks can be held with India till Article 370 is restored.



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