Pakistan needs to evolve a strategy to deal with hybrid war: Shehryar Afridi

ISLAMABAD: The Chairman of Kashmir Committee, Shehryar Khan Afridi on Monday said that Pakistan needs to devise a comprehensive strategy to deal with the challenges in the information age as the enemy is spending lavishly to target the foundation of the state of Pakistan and fake news is a part of the enemy’s arsenal.

Addressing the participants of a seminar titled “Disinformation as a tool of strategic warfare” held here jointly by the Kashmir Committee and the Institute of Regional Studies, Shehryar Afridi said that Modi’s India has used negative narrative against Pakistan for strategic and political objectives. “In the age of information, statecraft has used disinformation and information as a tool of strategic and hybrid war.

“Information warfare is a modern tool for building state narrative,” he said.

“EU Disinfo Lab report has exposed Indian lies and deceit as Indian media and NGOs have become a tool for Indian propaganda as India used fake media houses and fake social media platforms to help defame Pakistan,” he said.

Afridi said since information is part of modern warfare, media needs to understand how vicious elements could misuse media narrative for individual and state objectives.

Drawing a parallel between Pakistan and India, Shehryar Afridi said that the Indian government added Indian media into its nation-building project in 1948 and Indian media toed the official narrative and hence became a party in the Indian propaganda machine.

The minister said that on the other hand, the Pakistani state ignored Pakistani media and the vicious forces used and misused Pakistani media against the state objectives. Unfortunately, extreme media freedom was given without sensitising the media houses about national interests and national discourse. Hence, Shehryar Afridi said, Pakistani media was vulnerable and the enemy used this extreme freedom for its hybrid war against the state of Pakistan.

Afridi said that India also used its disinformation campaign to convince the world to tag Pakistani state institutions for turmoil in the region through misuse of media. Indian state and its parrot media worked in tandem to confuse Kashmiri freedom struggle with terrorism even though Kashmiri freedom struggle is legitimate under the United Nations charter against the occupational forces of India.

Indian occupational forces in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir are committing war crimes against the unarmed Kashmiris who have legitimate right to fight against the invading military of India, he said.

Keeping in view the challenges of the information age, the Pakistani state needs to evolve a strategy to deal with the hostile enemy and its hybrid war imposed from all sides in tandem with fake media houses and social media. He called upon the concerned departments to also work for bringing in regulations for social media and learn from past mistakes, he concluded.

Raja Furqan Ahmed

Raja Furqan Ahmed is the News Editor of The Pakistan Daily.

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