Indian RAW paid PKR30,000 to trap young freelancers, network busted by Pakistani intelligence
In a combined operation with intelligence agencies, Karachi Police discovered a hidden cyber network of India’s premier intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), operating in the capital city of Sindh province.
Officials got a tip and searched a residence in Rizvia Society in Central Karachi over the weekend, arresting a suspect named Sufyan Naqvi.
Sufyan Naqvi pled innocent and claimed to be a freelance project coordinator for a Maldives-based firm, but a preliminary examination of his laptop, computer, and mobile phone indicated that he had been working with RAW to operate an anti-Pakistan cyber network.
Sufyan Naqvi was paid between Rs. 30,000 and Rs. 50,000 every month by his RAW handler. The handler had also directed him to utilize several programs to conceal his identity from the police.
Sufyan Naqvi was assigned various tasks by a female Indian handler working for RAW who communicated via a UK cellphone number. His daily responsibilities included cultivating disgust for the Pakistan Army and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) using social media apps like Facebook and Twitter.
The confiscated equipment has been submitted for forensic examination, and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been tasked with furthering the investigation and apprehending all suspects associated with the lead suspect.
In a similar incident last year, Indians posted job proposals on freelancing websites to participate in the “Sanction Pakistan” hashtag on Twitter.
On condition of anonymity, a senior official participating in the raid warned the youngsters against taking up freelance work with firms that have no record on the internet.
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He went on to say that RAW has now turned to recruit educated Pakistani youth by allegedly giving them employment. However, RAW pushes them to launch anti-Pakistan propaganda in exchange for money.
Past record of Indian RAW in Pakistan
It is typical for the two adversarial South Asian countries to accuse one other of subversion; nevertheless, Pakistan presented evidence of Indian involvement, in the form of various dossiers with audio, video, and photographic proof.
Presenting the dossier in a media conference, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi alongside Director General ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar said India had created a consortium of internationally banned terror outfits.
Pakistan accused that India is running the campaign directly by a special cell under the supervision of Indian PM Narendra Modi. The cell has so far distributed Rs22 billion among the terrorist groups, claimed the Pakistani foreign minister.
On the 3rd of March, 2016, the Pakistani intelligence captured Kulbushan Jadhav who Pakistan accused as a RAW agent. In a confessional statement, Jadhav admitted carrying out subversive activities in Pakistan’s province of Balochistan. He was using the pseudonym of Hossein Mubarak.
On July 14 last year, nine Chinese nationals, two Frontier Constabulary soldiers, and as many locals were killed and 28 others were injured when a bus bringing them to the 4,300-megawatt Dasu hydropower project’s under-construction tunnel site crashed into a ravine in Upper Kohistan following an explosion. Pakistan accused India of being behind for the incident.
India’s misinformation campaigns
The Indian media is often referred to as ‘Godi Media’ by journalist Ravish Kumar, for spreading fake news. In October 2020, Indian mainstream media launched a campaign of non-existent “Civil War in Karachi”.
India Today, Zee News English, CNN News18, and India.com – all verified Twitter accounts – were among those at the forefront of the disinformation effort, claiming that armed battles had erupted in Karachi.
As per the groundbreaking research by the EU Disinfo Lab, the Indian government has been running a network including websites having names close to other credible websites; resurrected UN-accredited NGOs & deceased professors. According to the investigation, the network broadcasts false information about Pakistan’s state institutions in a bid to distort its image in the global community.