Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has launched a new brigade ‘Defenders of Pakistan’ with an aim to stoke social disharmony between Hindu and Muslim communities in India, top intelligence sources said on Monday.
The purported operation will be carried out online, with thousands of handles and hashtags being created to fuel anti-India sentiments. Sources said that the ISI has hired 550 persons who have expertise in social media management and have distributed them across 11 teams. The teams' agenda is to radicalise Indian youth and draw them towards terrorism.
According to sources, in a recent meeting in Rawalpindi, the teams were allotted the tasks of waging “1000 fights” with India. They have been told to exploit cyberspace to further this agenda.
Pakistan, which will likely remain in the grey list of FATF at least till February 2021, has devised this new low-cost strategy amid increasing international pressure. The brigade is allegedly devising strategies to use popular social media platforms like WhatsApp and Twitter to drive anti-India sentiments in both communities.
The recent work of the ISI brigade involved the creation of false narratives that Muslims were being accused of spreading Covid-19 in India and there is a rise in Islamophobia in the country.
To support this narrative, fake videos of Muslim vendors urinating on vegetables and fruits and cops beating Muslim youths in mosques were also circulated widely by the ISI's teams.