Warning that disinformation had become a “global pandemic”, Pakistan has called for international cooperation to counter this scourge, which fuels hate speech. “The disinformation operations via cyber-meddling did not stop after EU Disinfo Lab’s groundbreaking revelations and comprehensive evidence of targeting the UN bodies, its member states, core institutions and core values,” Mariam Shaikh, the Pakistani delegate, told the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee, which deals with special political and decolonization matters. Mariam Shaikh, press counselor at the Pakistani mission to the UN, was obviously referring to the investigative reports of EU Disinfo Lab, a Brussels-based independent NGO, that include one that recently unearthed India’s 15-year-old disinformation campaign against Pakistan. Pakistan and its people, she said, have been the victims of targeted such campaigns, whose critical concern is the state-sponsored disinformation in armed conflict and situations of foreign occupation. “Often occupying forces impose a wall-of-silence with a physical lockdown, a total information blackout, and censorship and surveillance to suppress the voice of the people, routinely incarcerating, beating, humiliating, harassing and even killing, for reporting on the human rights violations,” the Pakistani delegate said in a debate on Information. Pakistan, she said, also expressed serious concern at attacks and violence against journalists and media workers and associated personnel in such illegally occupied territories. “Pakistan is committed to countering the virus of disinformation by all possible means including national means and through international cooperation with Member States and other stakeholders under the umbrella of the United Nations,” Mariam Shaikh added. Noting the recent devastating floods in Pakistan, she hoped that the United Nations, among the first responders to the calamity, will continue to spotlight the many crises resulting from climate change. “In the last two decades, recurrent spells of extreme weather events have taken a heavy toll on both life and property and adversely affected Pakistan’s economic growth.” The Pakistani delegate also drew attention to hate speech, discrimination and violence against Muslims in several parts of the world and urged the Department of Global Communications to launch awareness campaigns to counter a rising tide of Islamophobia. “Islamophobia is a reality,” she added.