Deep Dive into the “Indian Chronicles” Saga and Way Forward for Pakistan

Key Points:

  • Hard-hitting official statements and a frenzied media blitzkrieg aside, the emergence of the web-based technologies provide an added layer of discreetness and deniability when conducting aggressive targeted attacks against Pakistan’s integrity.
  • While EU (European Union) DisinfoLab’s report names several individuals in whose name various website domains were registered, many of them were unidentifiable and untraceable, leading to strong speculations that they are fake identities or “avatars”.
  • Apart from the media and publishing services, the Srivastava Group’s less-known company, Aglaya, marketed itself as a vendor of hacking/espionage tools. This wholly different vertical of tradecraft adds a more sophisticated yet discreet dimension to the Srivastava family’s activities.
  • Additional open-source findings indicate that the company was involved in projects for the Indian Armed Forces.
  • The surprisingly uninterrupted continuity of the Srivastava Group’s influence operations clearly points toward independence from a particular political regime’s patronage.
  • The most plausible working hypothesis amidst this paradox is that the Srivastava Group is a non-state group/actor that builds and operates a network of physical and digital assets (“fronts”) to provide “services” for clients including various political regimes in the Union Government (New Delhi). The fact that it is not “state-owned”, per se, explains its continued existence.
  • The financing of the dubious Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), its “research” staff, campaign logistics and material requires access to the discreet supply chain networks traditionally nurtured by intelligence agencies. In terms of the defined mandates, only the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) is sanctioned to conduct overseas operations.
  • A dedicated cell of skilled fact-checkers and open-source intelligence specialists should be inducted within the External Publicity Wing in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting through the lateral entry to proactively monitor, identify and counter the organised groups, publishing disinformation and propaganda against Pakistan’s diplomatic, cultural and economic interests.

Zaki Khalid

Zaki Khalid is a strategic analyst and freelance commentator based in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. His areas of interest include national security, geopolitics, cyberspace and maritime affairs. He is also the founder and editor of 'Pakistan Geostrategic Review (PGR)', an independent platform publishing a premium newsletter and podcasts on geostrategic developments. He can be reached on Twitter @misterzedpk.

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