Trump’s Falsehood Reaches Kashmir

Our statesmen, who covet the limelight and struggle to remain in it, are adept at coming up with political ruses and masquerades. We have heard that politics is a dirty game, and our sharp-witted leaders incontrovertibly prove it to be so. They are mistaken if they imagine their statements can be formatted, cut or copied as in a Microsoft word document.

Since his arrival in the White House, Donald Trump has become the apple of the media’s eye. However the president today faces some stern comments for disinformation by his own state media. The Washington Post reported that Trump had made 12019 false claims within 928 days in office. Unfortunately, the three day trip of Prime Minister Imran Khan too suffered from Trump’s misleading affirmations, adding to the animosity between Islamabad and New Delhi.

As an example of how the American President makes statements, some of which he subsequently disavows, he termed the American member of the British Royal family, Meghan Markle, a nasty creature in June 2019; when a reporter from ‘The Sun’ prompted him. Trump stated, “I didn’t know that she was nasty. I hope she is OK. …”. Subsequently, he refuted this in a tweet: “I never called Meghan Markle ‘nasty’. Made up by the Fake News Media, and they got caught cold! Will @CNN, @nytimes and others apologize? Doubt it!”

Trump has a pattern of employing utensils of disinformation for all matters, from the most trivial to the very pressing, in his political stratagem. This is despite the fact that he has been caught in lies and leading propaganda multiple times; as per CNN, the president made 56 false claims just last week and his lies are becoming bolder.  His statement about the Indian Prime Minister’s request for him to mediate on the Kashmir Issue was declared false by the Indian media immediately.

States function under bilateral interests. Peripheral states have been maltreated and persecuted in the world system and the tradition seems to flourish with no end in sight. Powerful states have no obligation to help the underdeveloped countries, and they would only move to do so if perceiving a benefit. Disinformation being a major propaganda technique serves leaders in achieving their political goals and objectives. It can for sure be expected that the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan was targeted with falsehood being used by both India and the United States to distract from their ongoing troubles.

New Delhi has developed closer ties with Russia, as evidenced by the procurement of s-400 missiles, and the clear word given by Moscow to support India’s stance on the abrogation of Article-370 being an internal matter. Washington’s long term ally being courted by Russia may have encourage it to reinforce ties with Pakistan. The Pak-US F-16 sale,  the hugely positive reception for PM Imran Khan in the US, in addition to the expected positive steps forward with Pakistan on the Afghanistan issue, all were meant to needle Modi. Consequently it is evident that states commence under their national interest and Donald Trump and Narendra Modi are manipulating the Kashmir dispute to satisfy their enmities. It would not be the very first time that Modi used Kashmir to further his agenda. Before the Indian elections earlier in 2019, the Pulwama play was staged by his government with forceful allegations against Pakistan. They purported to have killed 350 militants with a surgical strike on Balakot, to which the New York Times responded: “The photographs of dead bodies wrapped in white, supposedly of Pakistani militants killed in attack, actually depicted victims of a 2015 heatwave”.  To secure another tenure for the next five years, Modi told his public that a Pakistan Air Force F-16 was shot down during the operations, whereas Washington’s stringent calculation of fighter craft found none missing. The Indian Prime Minister brought the two states to the peak for a potential third war over Kashmir, without caring about the fact that the situation could lead to nuclear combat.

The silence of the great powers on the Indian infringement is deafening. With New Delhi’s newest wave of brutal violation of the Geneva Convention in Kashmir, Pakistan’s foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has prophesied ‘False Flag Operations’ in the territory.  Trump’s role in negotiations between New Delhi and Islamabad would reflect the West’s support for human rights and Muslim community, even though in Syria justice remains undelivered.

Ramla Khan
About Ramla Khan 1 Article
Ramla Khan is an Alumni of National Defence University, Islamabad serving as an author at various international thinktanks with her dissertation in Disinformation operations. She writes in area of fake news, security, maritime and foreign policy.

1 Comment

  1. Informative read. I liked how the author propounded on the view of disinformation as a state tool to further national interest. The ‘disinformation’ strategy is relevant, modern and applicable to 21st century socio-political realities. Would love to read more on this topic

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