Digital Warfare: Unmasking Pakistan’s Proxy War Against India on Social Media

by Parminder Singh Sodhi

In recent years, an insidious and pernicious form of cyber warfare has surfaced, causing severe damage to the communal harmony and social fabric of India. Pakistan, in a concerted effort to stoke the flames of religious discord and breed animosity amongst Indians, has weaponized social media in its ongoing proxy war against India. Using advanced IP masking techniques, they’re circulating provocative and blasphemous content aimed at exploiting the deeply rooted religious sentiments of the Indian people. This novel act of digital hostility needs to be exposed, challenged and stopped.

Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI, is strategically utilizing IP masking – a method that hides a user’s actual IP address behind a proxy server or VPN. The result is a digital cloak of invisibility that renders the user untraceable. Exploiting this technology, ISI disseminates divisive, communal, and incendiary content aimed at instigating religious conflicts within India.

Taking the venomous sting of this cyber warfare to a new low, ISI has been known to target religious icons. Recently, Instagram accounts with inflammatory names posted distastefully manipulated images of revered Sikh Gurus. These explicit, hurtful, and disrespectful posts are created with the clear aim of inciting religious hostility, thus endangering India’s communal harmony.

This nefarious strategy isn’t limited to Sikhs alone. Hindu deities and religious icons have also been mocked, disparaged, and maligned, creating ripples of outrage and distress among devotees. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the purpose behind these actions is to sow discord and hatred among various religious communities, particularly between Hindus and Sikhs.

India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has made commendable efforts to counter this digital onslaught by shutting down numerous fake social media accounts linked to Pakistan’s malicious propaganda machine. However, the sheer scale and complexity of this problem necessitate a more comprehensive and concerted response.

The cyber-warfare being waged by Pakistan is a disgraceful assault on India’s secular ethos. Its real purpose is to tarnish the image of a nation that prides itself on its diverse religious and cultural harmony. By targeting the religious sentiments of people and desecrating the images of revered deities and Gurus, Pakistan seeks to stoke the embers of religious discord.

It is high time that we, as citizens, recognize and respond to this digital proxy war. The onus lies on each one of us to maintain vigilance, exercise discretion, and not fall prey to such divisive propaganda. As a collective, we need to thwart the Pakistani establishment’s malicious attempts to manipulate us into conflict.

The Indian government should further augment its efforts to combat this form of cyber warfare, investing in stronger cyberinfrastructure and intelligence. Public awareness campaigns aimed at educating citizens about these nefarious tactics can also be a potent tool to counter these attempts to shatter India’s social unity.

While we should continue to honor our religious sensibilities, it is imperative to remember that unity in diversity forms the bedrock of our nation. As we navigate this age of information and misinformation, let us commit to preserving our communal harmony and social unity against all forces aiming to disrupt it. The digital warfare being waged against us is a clear and present danger, but with awareness, education, and unity, we will surely overcome it.

Parminder Singh Sodhi

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