Bilawal says disinformation is the new pandemic


Disinformation has often justified and intensified the violations of human rights, Bilawal said, adding that hybrid warfare pursued through disinformation is often the opening salvo of intervention and conflict…reports Asian Lite News

 In this information age, disinformation has emerged as a global pandemic, and like many other countries, Pakistan has been a victim of targeted campaigns of disinformation, Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said.

The Foreign Minister made the remarks on Thursday while addressing virtually the meeting of the Group of Friends on Countering Disinformation for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in New York.

“The exponential proliferation of disinformation, especially through online platforms and social media, has spread social discord and fostered hate speech, racism, discrimination, xenophobia, and inter-state tensions and conflict,” Zardari added.

Disinformation has often justified and intensified the violations of human rights, he said, adding that hybrid warfare pursued through disinformation is often the opening salvo of intervention and conflict, Xinhua news agency reported.



This pandemic of disinformation must be confronted, countered and defeated at the national and international level, the Foreign Minister said.

“We can succeed in doing so only through comprehensive international cooperation,” he added.

Last week, describing Pakistan as “internationally isolated and disengaged”, Bilawal made a strong pitch for re-engagement with India, asking whether cutting off ties with India served the nation’s interests, media reports said.

“Does it serve our interests, do we achieve our objectives whatever they may be, be it Kashmir, be it rising Islamophobia, the Hindutva supremacist nature of the new regimes and the governments in India? Does it serve our objective that we have practically cut off all engagements,” asked Bilawal while speaking at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad, Express Tribune reported.

“That I as foreign minister, as a representative of my country, not only speak to the Indian government but I don’t speak to the Indian people and is this the best way to communicate or achieve Pakistan’s objectives,” he added.

There was some hope of rapprochement in February 2021 when the two countries renewed the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC). The truce is still holding, but the two sides could not agree on the next steps to resume talks.

But with the change of government, there has been a renewed hope for some level of engagement. It is believed that some kind of “back channels” are active to find a way out of the current impasse.

Against this backdrop, the statement of Foreign Minister Zardari indicates that there is an eagerness on the part of the current government to bring some shift, Express Tribune reported.

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