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IANS

Pakistan has time and again been trying to create strife between Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs in India, Intelligence sources said.

Pakistan has earlier resorted to attacking India via social media. This time their target was Indian cricketer Arshdeep Singh, who was called 'Khalistani' on Twitter, to mislead Indian social media users.

Arshdeep had dropped a crucial catch during the second last over of the Asia Cup match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan on Sunday.

One of the Pakistani Twitter accounts that trolled Arshdeep said, "Arshdeep is clearly a part of the Pakistan-backed Khalistan movement".

Most of the accounts targeting Arshdeep were from Pakistan and running Khalistan propaganda against India.

Fake accounts were also created to falsely portray that India was against the Sikh community after Arshdeep missed the catch during the Asia Cup match.

Meanwhile, the troll army also tampered with Arshdeep's Wikipedia page to spread their misleading and malicious tweets against him, and false information was added.

Trying to create trouble in India, Arshdeep was the latest example of Pakistan's digital army promoting Khalistan while Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI continues to fund the Khalistani anti-national forces.

This was not the first time that Pakistan used 'Khalistan' to encourage terrorism. From time to time, Pakistan and ISI have played important roles to promote the Khalistani agenda.

A senior intelligence officer, who tracks terrorist activity, told IANS that the ISI is funding pro-Khalistan activities like Referendum 2022, which its website calls "a campaign to liberate Punjab which is currently under Indian occupation".

Social media analysts confirm that there was a resurgence in pro-Khalistan campaigns on social media after the commencement of the groundwork on the Kartarpur corridor by India and Pakistan in November 2018.

"More attention has been given to spread Khalistani propaganda online, as it is the cheapest, most cost-effective form of propaganda, and Pakistan is funding and supporting these efforts," they say.

A Punjab Police officer said: "Social media has definitely become a nuisance. It is used to run misinformation campaigns, to run movements like Referendum 2020, to idolise (banned) organisations like KLF (Khalistan Liberation Force), to collect funds and to spread propaganda."

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