Occupiers using fake news to de-legitimize freedom struggles, including in Kashmir, Palestine: Pakistan

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 30 (Alliance News): Citing Kashmir and Palestine, Pakistan has told a key UN committee that States were resorting to fake news and disinformation in situations of foreign occupation to subdue the voices of people being denied their fundamental freedoms, including the right to self-determination.

“We are witnessing this today in the Gaza war and have witnessed this consistently in the case of occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” Ambassador Munir Akram told the Committee on Information on Monday.



The committee oversees the work of the UN Department of Global Communications (DGC) and provides the department with guidance on its policies, programmes and activities.

The Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN, Ambassador Usman Jadoon, is presiding over the current session of the committee, its 46th.

At the outset of his remarks, Ambassador Akram greeted his colleague, saying, “Your chairing the 46th session of the Committee on Information symbolizes Pakistan’s commitment to multilateralism and the UN’s information agenda.”

“As a democratic and pluralistic nation-state,” he said, “Pakistan reaffirms its commitment to the principles of the UN Charter and international human rights law, including freedom of expression and access to information; to combating disinformation in all its manifestations; and to upholding the principles of independence and diversity of the media.”

In this regard, Ambassador Akram voiced regret that the use of digital media is turbocharging the spread of fake information and disinformation to promote Islamophobia to justify foreign occupation and aggression to turn victims of aggression into the culprits.

This led Pakistan to initiate the resolution on disinformation, unanimously adopted last year, the Pakistani envoy said, adding that consultations would soon take place to advance its objectives.

Pakistan, he said, would welcome the development of an inter-governmentally formulated code of conduct for information integrity on digital platforms; it must address the increasing use of AI tools for spreading false information and conducting digital surveillance.

“At the core of information manipulation, internet blackouts, censorship and the use of special media laws by the occupation authorities is a sinister design to de-legitimize freedom struggles and perpetuate a climate of fear, intimidation and violence,” Ambassador Akram old the delegates.

Earlier, Ambassador Usman Jadoon, in his presidential address, said that the contemporary challenges faced by the international community — including renewed geo-political tensions and worsening sustainable development and climate change crises — have a distinct information dimension.

“Information is being fabricated, manipulated and spread with lightning speed using modern tools of communication and online platforms,” he said, noting that it serves political objectives during conflict and peacetime to discredit science and silence dissent.

“It is becoming harder to discern the truth and facts from the web of lies and propaganda spun around us,” he cautioned, adding that even the UN ends up being the target of attacks on its credibility and impartiality.

Highlighting the Committee’s vital role in ensuring accurate, reliable and timely information, he outlined topics of discussion in the upcoming days, including the role of the media in shaping public opinion, bridging the North-South digital divide, and combating disinformation, hate speech and false narratives.

He also underscored the need to utilize science-based information to promote the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and bolder climate action and to dispel myths about climate change.

However, there can be no progress in these areas without bridging the digital and technological divide, creating an equitable and resilient global information landscape, and achieving universal connectivity and equal access to data for all.

The most effective cure to the pandemic of disinformation and hate speech is an informed and empowered global community, he said, spotlighting the work undertaken by the Department of Global Communications to ensure information integrity.