Fake News

LAHORE- The Spy Chronicles RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace, a book co-authored by former spy chiefs of Pakistan and India has been making headlines. Even before it’s publication, the book has been discussed on an international level and since the book was written by former spies, it was only appropriate that its manuscript got leaked on WhatsApp, even before it was published.

While book discussed many aspects and problems both chiefs had to endure during their tenures, and the issues emerged before and after they held such crucial positions, Indian media picked out one point and it started circulating all over the social media with prominent Pakistanis sharing it.

Indian media outlet shared the news with a headline “Ex-Pak Spy Chief Admits Hurriyat Was ISI Creation, Regrets Giving ‘Factions’ Free Run in Kashmir,” and went on saying, “In what is believed to be the first such confession to emerge from Pakistan, the country’s former spy chief Mohammad Asad Durrani has admitted that the Hurriyat was the creation of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).”

However, in the actual book Durrani made no such confession neither did he claim that ISI created Hurriyat.

Suhas Munshi of News 18 went on and quoted Asad Durrani to support his story. The only thing wrong with these quotations was that they were taken out of context and supported Munshi’s story, without telling the whole story.

Suhas in his story said, “Durrani, who served as the ISI chief from 1990-1992, the years when the armed separatist violence broke out in Kashmir for the first time on a mass scale, said, “I think that the formation of the Hurriyat to provide a political direction to the resistance was a good idea.”

What Suhas forgot to mention was Hurriyat movement started in 1993 when Durrani was no longer ISI chief.

Also, the writer talked about uprising during Durrani’s tenure as ISI chief but didn’t mention Durrani saying, “In particular, I regret it till today why we did not take Amanullah Gilgiti more seriously. His group led the uprising. He started it, initiated it, spoke about it,” implying that the uprising wasn’t ISI’s doing but its creator was Amanullah Gilgiti.

The report by Indian media picked another line from Durrani’s statement to support its claim, “I think that the formation of the Hurriyat to provide a political direction to the resistance was a good idea.”

Since Durrani wasn’t an ISI chief at the time ‘Hurriyat’ was created and he used the word “formation” instead of creation, this statement isn’t essentially a confession that ISI created the movement or for that matter any sort of confession at all. Also, the statement suggests Durrani’s appreciation for Kashmiri parties who formed Hurriyat, former spy chief claims no role of ISI in it.

The writer went on quoting Durrani and mentioned, “But what he didn’t consider a good idea was “giving up handle on the movement — letting the factions do what they bloody well wanted to…”

The statement clearly suggests that ISI wasn’t supporting, handling or taking any part in the uprising and had nothing to do with it. The point of focus here is “giving up handle on the movement.”

Towards the end of the report, the reporter has quoted the above-mentioned statement by former spy chief of Pakistan, “I regret till today why we did not take Amanullah Gilgiti more seriously. His group led the uprising…. His third option of independence was unnecessarily muddying the water. And what did independence mean anyway?”

While he quoted the statement, he conveniently left out the “He started it, initiated it, spoke about it.” part. Misquoting, misinterpreting or providing only half of the statements on such crucial matters, points towards only one thing i.e. it’s a fake news and is misleading propaganda.