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Pakistan Today

Published Date: Apr 26, 2019

Govt. urged to use new tools to counter hybrid war

Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari on Thursday urged the federal government to counter hybrid warfare of western world with new tools of trade to convince the world on its narrative.
Addressing the audience 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, Dr Mazari said the hysteria about hybrid warfare is not a new phenomenon, and rather it is old one with changing tools such as fake news, disinformation and propaganda with the purpose of going beyond the truth to disrupt the society.
“The strategic coercion in the realm of hybrid warfare imposed by the United States of America (USA) on various countries through economic and military means has no basis in international laws, whether it is breach of nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) with Iran or backing out from the international agreements (Paris Agreement),” she said.
The Minister said Pakistan’s diplomatic statements should be just, truthful and credible.
“In order to successfully convince the world to take our side, we need to take our own people on board so that inclusivity in the message or statement can be ensured.  Mostly the websites of the different governmental departments are out-dated and we have least presence on social media. The government departments need to upgrade their websites to catch up with the society. We need to embrace new technology and use it intelligently and positively,” she added.
Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Andleeb Abbas said around 60 per cent news on social media are fake which is negatively influencing and shaping the minds of our young minds.
“In order to fight and counter the strategic coercion, Pakistan should learn from China, Russia and even India and we should come up with truth and facts. Pakistan needs to strengthen its ties with the regional big blocks such as Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to get their political and economic support to avoid the coercions,” she said.
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 episodes, for the first time in the history, Pakistan came out as victorious in exposing the Indian lies 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 the 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 analysing 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 we 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 shows 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 is facing the 4th and 5th generation hybrid war in which the enemies of Pakistan through various means are trying to create chaos in the country, which is 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.Source: