Twitter on Saturday suspended the official account of Pakistan Defence, a forum dedicated to the country’s military affairs, for tweeting a morphed photo of an Indian girl to promote its anti-India rhetoric.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan Defence’s verified Twitter handle @defencepk had posted an image of a young woman standing in front of Delhi’s Jama Masjid with a placard reading: “I am an Indian but I hate India, because India is a colonial entity that has occupied nations such as Nagas, Kahmiris, Manipuris, Hyderabad, Junagarh, Sikkim, Mizoram, Goa.”
However, eagle-eyed Indian netizens who noticed the post cried foul and pointed out that it was a doctored version of a photo shared by Delhi University student Kawalpreet Kaur. In the original image, the placard held by Kaur bears the message: “I am a citizen of India and I stand with secular values of our constitution.”
Pakistan Defence had deleted the tweet some time later, but after receiving numerous complaints about the morphed photo, Twitter suspended the account, and it is still offline as of today.
Pakistan Defence, which has no links to the country’s government, claims to be the “one stop resource for Pakistan defence, strategic affairs, security issues, world defence and military affairs.”
The web portal has been frequently accused of promoting anti-India propaganda and hate speech and running malicious campaigns against Pakistani journalists and activists who were critical of the country’s armed forces and intelligence service.
This isn’t the first time that Pakistan has used a falsified narrative to tarnish India’s image. In September, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi, in her right to reply to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s speech at the UN, showed the photo of a wounded Palestinian girl and tried to pass it off as evidence of atrocities in Kashmir.
India had hit back at Lodhi’s attempt to mislead the UN by describing it as “the nefarious designs of Pakistan on India” to divert attention from its role as the hub of global terrorism.