A Lahore-based magazine called Invite, which is published by the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF)—a front for Jamaat-ud Dawah, whose chief is Hafiz Muhammad Saeed—is being funded by Pakistan’s ISI as a platform to spread misinformation against India, by giving space to Kashmiri separatists. The aim of the magazine is to spread ISI, as well as Kashmiri separatist propaganda. Security experts say that the magazine is “inspired” by Dabiq, a propaganda magazine which was being brought out by the Islamic State (ISIS) when they were at their peak in 2014-2016.
In its latest edition, “Issue No 04”, Invite has published an article by the Srinagar based hardline separatist leader Asiya Andrabi. She is the chairperson of Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of Nation), and was recently detained by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on charges of alleged money laundering.
The magazine also carries an editorial on how “67 separatist movements” are going on in India, as a result of which “India was teetering on the brink of collapse”.
In the article titled “Kashmir refuses to surrender”, Andrabi has written that Hafiz Saeed, a terrorist mastermind who carries a reward of $10 million on his head and is wanted for his role in the 2008 Mumbai massacre, “has emerged as the beacon of hope” for Kashmiris. She has also written that “Pakistan is dearer to us Kashmiris more than our lives” and that “Indian military leadership and experts assess that they are on the brink of losing Kashmir”. About the violence in the valley she writes “our students are on the roads, our girls have picked up stones and are fighting on the streets”. She adds, “We are sacrificing all what we have. The Kashmiri youth, women, kids and even the elderly are coming out on a daily basis chanting slogans of freedom while suffering severe physical torture. Despite our losses and suffering our morale is high, our faith is strong. We are certain of our victory.”
The editorial “India was teetering on the brink of collapse” is based on pure fiction. While listing the “67 separatist movements that are going on in India”, the editorial talks about Ladakh, Maru Pradesh (Rajasthan), Harit Pradesh, Purvanchal, Bundelkhand, Bagelkhand, Mithilanchal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, etc, wanting to separate from India. The editorial also quotes a “report” allegedly published in the UK newspaper Guardian saying that “Christians are increasingly under attack a (sic) so-called secular India”. The editorial writes “apart from several incidents of Muslims being attacked and beaten to death by extremist Hindus, there are many incidents of attack on other minority groups too”.
Another article titled “Breaking the shackles: Kashmir social media ban” has been written by Waqas Abdullah, who has been mentioned as the director of “Institute of Research, Information and Strategy”. The institute’s identity and existence could not be verified by The Sunday Guardian. The article talks about how the social media ban in the valley can be bypassed through various mobile and Internet applications.
Indian agencies say that the ban is absolutely necessary as social media, including various messaging apps, are used by terrorists, their handlers and over-ground workers for spreading disinformation and inciting violence in Kashmir.
On 31 January, the Pakistan government had placed Hafiz Saeed and four other party leaders under house arrest. Saeed’s two organisations, namely JuD and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), which is ostensibly the public welfare wing of JuD, were put under watch and listed in the second schedule of the Pakistan Anti-Terrorism Act. However, that has not stopped the organisations from publishing the magazine.
Intelligence agencies tracking Pakistan based terror organisations said, Invite, which was launched in August last year, just days after a Kashmiri terrorist, Burhan Wani was gunned down in the valley, is being used as a “sophisticated mode of propaganda that is intended to cater to the literate”. “The funding for the same is coming from the ISI and the editorial content of this magazine too is decided by the ISI commanders. For the uninitiated, those who are not aware of those who are behind the magazine, it looks like a normal magazine critical of India’s policy in Kashmir,” an intelligence official said.