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Pakistan using Karnataka hijab row to spread misinformation and communal divide, created hundreds of fake Twitter accounts to push anti-India propaganda

Over 100 fake Twitter accounts were created in the name of Muskan Khan - the Burqa clad girl who gave 'Allahu Akbar' chants - in Pakistan which helped to trend hashtags like

India’s intelligence sources have hinted at Pakistan’s role in amplifying discontent and hatred over the Karnataka Burqa row on social media. Sources have told News18 that a number of social media accounts were created in Pakistan to push Islamist narratives in a move to create fissures in Indian society.

It has been a time since Pakistan has played its part in furthering the Burqa row which has unfolded in Karnataka’s Udupi. On social media, there is a growing uproar of perspectives that push the compulsion of wearing Hijabs in schools as an act of individual freedom. Amidst the polarization on social media over the Hijab issue, it is learnt that over 100 accounts were created in the name of Muskan Khan – the Burqa clad girl who gave ‘Allahu Akbar’ chants on the college campus. Many of such fake accounts were created on February 09, 2022, the sources have learnt.

One such account on Twitter, which goes by the name ‘@muskanindia90’ was initially created in Pakistan, but its location was later changed to ‘Karnataka’.

The account under the guise of Muskan’s name was seen peddling malicious propaganda against students protesting for a uniform mandate. An illustration of a Burqa-clad girl (dedicated to Muskan) was referred to as a ‘lioness’ while the protecting students with saffron flags were called ‘saffron jackals’. The glorification of ‘Burqa’ in the name of protesting for ‘Hijab’ can be clearly seen here when a Burqa-clad girl is being referred to as ‘The Great Hero of the Muslim World’.

The account was also seen pleading to the Taliban for supposed persecution in India. When Taliban spokesperson Inamullah Samangani supported the Karnataka Burqa girls, a tweet of thanks was made by the fake account as well.

Pakistani agenda on social media exposed

The Digital Forensics, Research and Analysis Center (DFRAC) had published a report yesterday exposing the role of Pakistan in creating Fake accounts. According to the organisation, The geographical map of tweets under the hashtag ‘#Muskan’ showed traffic from many countries, with the highest number of tweets made in Pakistan. With over 3000 Twitter users tweeting about the topic, more than 125 new accounts were created alone for the hashtag Muskan.

Similar to the case of the above Twitter handle mentioned, many new fake accounts with names like @muskankhan_0786, @musk_a_n, @muskan10, @muskankhanbibi were created which dominated the content under #Muskan. Reportedly Pakistani handles also participated in trending hashtags like #AllahuAkbar, #MuslimGirls #HijabRow, #Sherni, etc while changing their geotag to an Indian location.

Interestingly, it was also found by DFRAC that many accounts had their previous tweets deleted on February 08, a day before the Karnataka Burqa controversy erupted. DFRAC, an independent media organisation has asserted that Pakistan is fulfilling its wicked agenda to defame India and disturb India’s internal peace.

How Pakistan employed Congress’ Propaganda

Soon after Congress jumped in the Burqa controversy while Priyanka Gandhi Vadra claimed ‘girls being denied education’, the Pakistani Foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had toed a similar line when he tweeted about the supposed ‘violation of human rights’ in India.

Earlier, Congress had lied about the Tricolour being removed from the flagpole on the college campus, which was empty in the first place. Thereafter, a series of news agencies published the fake claim of Congress without verifying. This report was to reach Pakistani Media, wherein journalist Hamza Azhar Salam claimed that ‘Hindutva mob’ replaced the tricolour with saffron flag – a lie peddled by the Congress. A Pakistani Blogger Dr. Omar Ali has already claimed that Pakistani Intelligensia uses cues from ‘Indian liberals’ to promote anti-India narratives.

With more shreds of evidence emerging, it is amply clear that Pakistan is engaging with a psy-war while constructing social media narratives and misinformation campaigns as tools. The Indian side needs to be aware of the changing nature of war to prevent internal matters from being escalated at the cost of strategic sovereignty.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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