The government plans to set up a social media cell in Jammu with an office in Delhi to monitor all posts related to Kashmir on social media

Srinagar: The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry is preparing a multimedia communication strategy, which will involve radio, TV and social media sites, to counter “anti-India propaganda” and provide “healing touch” to the Valley, a report published in DNA said on Saturday.

Sources told DNA that a monthly talk show with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, special bulletins to motivate Kashmiri youths to join the armed forces, discussions talking about peace and the futility of violence, as cited in various Qura’nic texts and in the Hadith, are some of the programmes that will be aired in the Valley, the report said.

The government, according to the report, also plans to set up a social media cell in Jammu with an office in Delhi to monitor all posts related to Kashmir on social media, a crucial move given the recent violence, particularly the incidents of stone-pelting, that has rocked the state.

They stated that the government is planning youth-oriented programmes on TV for Kashmiris, the report added.

“Top officials in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), as well as the I&B ministry, have recently held a series of meetings recently with media heads on countering Pakistani propaganda,” the report added.

Officials from All India Radio’s (AIR) Radio Kashmir say Pakistan’s channels have been busy fuelling anti-India rumours in the state, the report said, adding, “They add that the most susceptible areas are the ones along the Line of Control (LoC) where Pakistan’s channels are said to have a bigger influence than their AIR counterparts.”

“Due to worn-out transmitters in these radio stations, our signals are often not very clear. On the other hand, radio signals of Pakistani radio channels penetrating Kashmir are of better quality,” the report quotes a source as saying.

AIR’s Radio Kashmir also plans other programmes on Kashmiri youths who have been successful in other spheres of life, the report said.

Programmes like Waadi Ki Awaaz in Srinagar highlights difficulties faced by minority communities in Pakistan and provides a counter-version of programmes broadcast by Pakistani media, the report said, adding the channel also broadcasts positive stories on Armed Forces.

Similarly, programmes aimed at neutralising “anti-India propaganda” messages by Pakistani channels, countering rumour-mongering within the state and highlighting welfare activities done by the Armed Forces are broadcast by the AIR, Poonch and AIR, Kargil, in Pahari, Urdu and Purgi languages, the report added.

But while the programmes are there, there is no information on what the actual audience and listenership data in the state, the report concluded, adding,  “Sources say an unavailability of audience data of Kashmir makes it difficult to assess the impact of such programmes.”

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