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Associate Press of Pakistan APP

Published Date: Apr 25, 2019

Government departments need to upgrade their websites to catch up with the society: Dr: Mazari

Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari Thursday said the hysteria about hybrid warfare is not a new phenomenon rather old with changing tools such as fake news, disinformation and propaganda with the purpose of going beyond the truth to disrupt the society.
She said this while speaking at a seminar titled “Understanding Strategic Coercion in the Realm of Grey Hybrid Conflict-Way forward for Pakistan”, organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), here.
She said strategic coercion in the realm of hybrid warfare imposed by the United States of America (USA) on various countries through economic and military mean has no bases in international laws, whether it was breach of nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) with Iran or backing out from the international agreements (Paris Agreement).
To counter these new tools and methods of hybrid warfare our state and government have to be truthful to convince the world to accept their narrative, she added.
She said our diplomatic statements should be just, truthful and credible. In order to successfully convince the world to take our side, she stressed the need for taking own people on board so that inclusivity in the message or statement can be ensured, she added.
Mostly the websites of the different governmental departments were out dated and least presence on social media, she lamented adding that the government departments need to upgrade their websites to catch up with the society. She urged to embrace the new technology and use it intelligently and positively.
Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Andleeb Abbas said around 60 per cent news on social media were fake which was negatively influencing and shaping the minds of young minds.
She said to counter the strategic coercion, Pakistan should learn from China, Russia and even India and should come up with truth and facts. She said Pakistan need to strengthen its ties with the regional big blocks such Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to get their political and economic support to avoid the coercions. She stressed the importance of promoting the soft diplomacy i.e. cultural diplomacy through music and film industry to build more positive image of the country.
“After Pulwama and Balakot episode, for the first time in the history, Pakistan came out as victorious in exposing the Indian lie and propaganda through effective counter narrative and media strategy,” said Andleeb adding that we need to further build and strengthen our partnership with international media and think tanks to expose such false propaganda through truth.
Executive Director, SDPI Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri said countering grey hybrid warfare is imperative to achieve sustainable development, as it has direct link to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets such as strengthening communities, ensuring peace and justice, building strong institutions and building partnership. He said the recent campaign against polio in Peshawar was based on disinformation which was used as a tool of grey hybrid warfare for nefarious motives. Pakistan is facing strategic coercion through various means, such as economic coercion in the shape of IMF and FATF conditions, trade sanctions from powerful countries, he remarked. Engaging people, building their capacity and promoting the culture of thinking and analyzing in the society amid the dynamics of coercive diplomacy and grey hybrid war is need of hour, he recommended.
Chairman, National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice Riaz Fatyana said Pakistan lost East Pakistan due to hybrid warfare and ever since our enemies are continuing to destabilise the very fabric of the society through various means.
He said it is about time that all political parties show unity and foster good relationships between government and opposition in the parliament to ensure political stability.
Director Policy, SDPI, Dr. Shafqat Munir said we need to make aware our people on the dynamics of coercive diplomacy and grey hybrid war in order to build their understanding about the modern war doctrine, methodologies and tactics of the enemies.
He said Pakistan was facing the 4th and 5th generation hybrid war in which the enemies of Pakistan through various means were trying to create chaos in the country, which was weakening very social fabric of the society.
Leonid Savin, Editor-in-Chief, Geopolitica said the Russian Federation has suffered and remained victim of hybrid warfare mainly from the US in the form of sanctions, however, the country was successful in fighting and countering the hybrid warfare through enhance regional cooperation, developing self-sufficiency and capacity in technology and financial system and effective media strategies.
He said Pakistan can learn a lot from Russian counter strategies.
Rana Athar Javed, Director General, Pakistan House urges all the countries to call off the strategic coercion through the negotiations and talks, which is the only way forward.
Director General, the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI), Dr Maria Sultan emphasizes to deal with the challenge of individual access, as we suffered in the case of Kulbhushan Yadav.
Dr. Zia-Ul-Qayyum, Vice Chancellor, Allama Iqbal Open University, said there are 2.4 billion mobile users with 3rd and 4th generation access having presence on social media, who are potential readers and consumers of fake information which has malicious motives to create unrest in the society.
He urged the need for proactive research and development centre to provide counter narrative by analysis and process of disinformation.  Dr. Zafar Iqbal, Head of Department, Mass Communication, International Islamic University call upon the media and young generation to promote and build the positive image through positive stories. Khalid Jamil, defence correspondent, analyst and Executive Director Journalists for Democracy and Human Rights (JDHR) said the next generation needs to be educated on ethic, facts, truth, respect and tolerance, which should also be part of our education system.Source: