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Afridi for strategy to cope with IT challenges

By Ali Imran

ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Chairman Shehryar Khan Afridi Monday underlined the needs to devise a comprehensive strategy to deal with challenges in the information age as the enemy was spending lavishly to target the foundation of state of Pakistan and fake news was 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, he said Modi’s India has used negative narrative against Pakistan for the 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 modren 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. He 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, Afridi said 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 Indian propaganda machine.
He said on the other hand, Pakistani state ignored Pakistani media and the vicious forces used and misused Pakistani media against the state objectives. He said unfortunately extreme media freedom was given without sensitising the media houses about the national interests and national discourse.
Hence, he said, Pakistani media was vulnerable and the enemy used this extreme freedom for its hybrid war against the state of Pakistan. Afridi said India also used its disinformation campaign to convince the world to tag Pakistani state institutions for turmoil in the region through misuse of media.
He said Indian state and its parrot media worked in tandem to confuse Kashmiri freedom struggle with terrorism despite the fact that Kashmiri freedom struggle is legitimate under the United Nations charter against the occupational forces of India. He said 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, 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 departments concerned to also work for bringing in regulations for social media and learn from the past mistakes.

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