In a now deleted tweet, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari shared a fake letter attempting to vilify former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, claiming that she had asked a US diplomat to stop offering assistance to Pakistan.
The fake letter letter implied that Benazir Bhutto said to US diplomat and close confidant Peter Galbraith that the US must stop sending military and economic assistance to Pakistan to hurt the government and the army. The letter goes on to ask Galbraith to request that the Government of India begin military operations along the Line of Command to engage the Pakistani Army.
The fake letter, which has apparently been circulating for twenty years, was debunked by Peter Galbraith himself, who said that there were ‘many obvious signs of forgery’ including the fact that his name was misspelled and that he never worked for the National Democratic Institute, to which the letter is addressed.
“Benazir was a Pakistani patriot who never advocated cutting off aid to Pakistan and would never have wanted Indian troops on the Pakistani border” Galbraith assured.
In response, Shireen Mazari admitted her mistake, deleting the tweet, but accused the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) of political subterfuge.
The PTI government has bemoaned the rampant ‘fake news‘ in Pakistan, leading to the controversial amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) ordinance promulgated by President Arif Alvi, which critics have said were aimed to quash dissent.