EU Disinfo Lab blows the lid off pro-India fake news apparatus!

Investigation reveals 750 fake media outlets in 116 countries, impersonation, identity theft and even resurrection of the dead!


An investigation by EU Disinfo Lab has made some startling revelations about how multiple media outlets, think tanks and non-government organisations (NGO) are surreptitiously pushing a pro-India agenda at various international fora including the United Nations (UN) as well as in the European Union (EU). Much of the content created and spread via the elaborate set-up unearthed by the investigators aimed at discrediting Pakistan, in a bid to further Indian interests.

EU Disinfo Labs has now released a report titled Indian Chronicles that showcases the findings of an investigation conducted by Gary Machado, Alexandre Alaphilippe, Roman Adamczyk and Antoine Grégoire.


This new investigation is a follow up to EU Disinfo Lab’s 2019 investigation where they uncovered a network of 265 fake media in 65 countries reproducing negative content about Pakistan online. This network was created allegedly by malicious actors who were behind ‘EP Today’, a fake European Parliament magazine active in Brussels since 2006. The self-proclaimed “magazine for the European Parliament in Brussels” was allegedly serving as a “honeypot” for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and other politicians who could use it to publish their views – particularly those views that would serve Indian interests and undermine Pakistan.

They also found “another fake media, the ‘Times of Geneva’ – along with an equally fake, allegedly Geneva-based press agency called 4 News Agency – would then produce written and video content. This content was reused online by NGOs and disseminated via the global fake media network and/or via an Indian press agency (ANI). This operation was attributed to the New-Delhi based Srivastava Group.” The new investigation probes the alleged role of the Srivastava group further.

Key findings

The new report finds that EP Today has been replaced by EU Chronicle, which the report calls “an opaque, self-proclaimed Brussels-based independent media.” The investigation was a deep-dive into the last 15 years and discovered that “the UN Human Rights Council has been abused by a network of coordinated NGOs serving Indian interests.”

The report says, “The actors behind this operation hijacked the names of others and tried to impersonate regular media and press agencies such as the EU Observer, The Economist and Voice of America. They used the letterhead of the European Parliament; registered websites under avatars with fake phone numbers; and provided fake addresses to the United Nations.”

The investigators took a close look at Commission to Study the Organization of Peace (CSOP). The report says, “We soon realised that this US-based NGO – accredited to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) – had become inactive in the late 1970s before being resurrected in 2005. Its identity had been hijacked by the same actors depicted in our first investigation.”

But things only got murkier from thereon. Indian Chronicles discovered a large-scale resurrection of not only defunct NGOs, but also dead people! “Shockingly, we discovered that the organisation had not only been revived. Its former Chairman and “grandfather of international law in the US”, Louis B. Sohn, who passed away in 2006, seemingly attended a UN Human Rights Council meeting in 2007 and participated in an event organised by “Friends of Gilgit-Baltistan” in Washington D.C. in 2011.”

The report also alleges that Asian News International (ANI) often repackaged fake news from these dubious sources. The report says, “The only valuable coverage these op-eds receive, comes from an immediate repackaging by an Indian press agency named ANI (Asian News International), often quoting these op-eds as genuine articles from ‘independent media EU Chronicle’.” The report adds, “Without Times of Geneva and 4 News Agency which stopped their activities following our previous investigation, ANI – which is considered as one of the biggest news agencies in India and the largest television agency of India – remains the only press agency to extensively cover the activities of dubious NGOs in Geneva.”

It further explains, “The coverage – and often distortion – by ANI of the content produced in Brussels and Geneva led us to the Big News Network and the World News Network – an entire network of 500+ fake local media in 95 countries that have helped reproduce negative iterations about Pakistan (or China). We also realised that the content produced was primarily targeted at Indian nationals, with an extensive coverage of these barely known “media”, MEPs and “NGOs” in Europe.”

The Srivastava Group

The investigators built on their previous probe into the Srivastava Group and claim to have found “an entire network of coordinated UN-accredited NGOs promoting Indian interests and criticizing Pakistan repeatedly. We could tie at least 10 of them directly to the Srivastava family, with several other dubious NGOs pushing the same messages. These UN-accredited NGOs work in coordination with non-accredited think-tanks and minority-rights NGOs in Brussels and Geneva. Several of them – like the European Organization for Pakistani Minorities (EOPM), Baluchistan House and the South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF) – were directly but opaquely created by the Srivastava group. In Geneva, these think-tanks and NGOs are in charge of lobbying, organising demonstrations and speaking during press conferences and UN side-events. They were repeatedly given the floor at the UN on behalf of the accredited organisations.”

The report says, “The organisations created by the Srivastava Group in Brussels organised trips for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to Kashmir, Bangladesh and the Maldives. Some of these trips led to much institutional controversy, as the delegations of MEPs were often presented as official EU delegations when they were in fact not travelling on behalf of the Parliament.”

Investigators look into the creation of three informal groups in the European Parliament, namely the “South Asia Peace Forum”, the “Baloch Forum” and “Friends of Gilgit-Baltistan” all allegedly tied to the Srivastava Group. The report further explains, “Organisations like WESTT – the Women Economic and Social Think-Tank – have drafted and suggested parliamentary questions to the European Commission, along with articles for fake EU magazines such as EP Today. These served as a honeypot to attract a growing number of MEPs into a pro-India and anti-Pakistan discourse, often using causes such as minorities rights and women’s rights as an entry point.”

This is how investigators chanced upon EU Chronicle – the new ‘EP Today’. The report calls EU Chronicle “A new fake media with fake journalists supposedly covering European affairs, yet essentially providing a platform for MEPs to sign pro-Indian articles. In less than 6 months of existence, already 11 MEPs have written or endorsed op-eds at a remarkably high pace for EU Chronicle.”

What does the pro-India operation hope to achieve, and how?

According to the report, the operation’s long-term objectives are:

• In India, to reinforce pro-Indian and anti-Pakistan (and anti-Chinese) feelings.

• Internationally, to consolidate the power and improve the perception of India, to damage the reputation of other countries and ultimately benefit from more support from international institutions such as the EU and the UN.

The modus operandi allegedly requires:

• The support to minority and human rights NGOs and think-tanks.

• The use of Members of the European Parliament to create a mirage of institutional support from European institutions to these minority groups, in favour of Indian interests and against Pakistan (and China).

• An active presence in Geneva and the United Nations’ Human Rights Council through: ̓ side-events and demonstrations in support of minority rights; ̓ impersonation of extinguished UN-accredited NGOs or use of speaking slots reserved to various NGOs whose original missions seem totally unrelated.

• The creation of fake media in Brussels, Geneva and across the world, as well as the repackaging and dissemination of content via ANI and obscure local media networks – at least in 97 countries – to multiply the repetition of online negative content about countries in conflict with India, in particular Pakistan.

An executive summary of the Indian Chronicles investigation may be read here: 

The full report and a broader background may be viewed here


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