Dr Jumma Marri

India is waging a relentless hybrid war against Pakistan by diverse and devious means. The adversary is targeting Pakistan from within and working on “multiple cuts strategy” by using extremists and terrorists as proxies. Pakistan’s enemies are manipulating the socio-political and societal differences by fabricating controversial narratives about Pakistan’s state and security institutions to damage Pakistan’s image abroad and create societal divide within.  The repeated attempt to trigger a “sub-nationalist spring” is part of the game. With CPEC early harvest projects coming to fruition, the next few years are likely to see more intensity in the 5th generation war threats.

Security from external as well as internal threats remains the most pressing issue for Pakistan to ensure its survival in a hostile environment. Most of the security and non-traditional threats being faced by Pakistan have a foreign involvement. At present, Pakistan is exposed to numerous hybrid war threats, which are destabilizing the country to a greater extent.

The hybrid warfare challenges being faced by Pakistan are multiple and connected with internal and foreign elements owing to the availability of modern means of communication. The threats faced by Pakistan in the external domain are manifold owing to the involvement of hostile agencies. The domestic domain is also highly unstable due to political and governance factors.

The major challenge that we face is the linkage between internal and external elements to employ synchronized hybrid strategies against Pakistan. This synchronized application of hybrid warfare is designed to achieve objectives like discrediting the Two-Nation Theory, maligning the Nuclear Program, discrediting the Pakistan Army, exploiting the ethno-religious divide and creating confusion in the public mind on core national issues.

The 5th generation war strategy employed at the inter-state level has four necessary instruments, which include intervention, political agitation, proxies and coercion. Out of these four strands, two strands (political subversion and proxy wars) have become pronounced under the Modi government since 2014.

India is a past master in the art of 5th generation war. The Indian machinations  in East Pakistan in 1971 are a classic example of employing psychological, subversive, coercive and violent tools to condition the environment for the ultimate application of military instrument by India, resulting in the dismemberment of Pakistan. India planned and fought the war in a nontraditional way, with multiple actors creating an environment where some local groups took up arms against the state propelled by the evil designs of India.

Over the years India’s use of hybrid methods against Pakistan has gathered speed. After the nuclearization of India and Pakistan which reduced the space for a conventional war, the growth in hybrid activities is now the most vital aspect of the overall increase in Indian aggressive attitude toward Pakistan.

A major example of India’s hybrid war in recent years is the attack on Sri Lankan Cricket team at Lahore in 2009 which resulted in the banishment of international cricket matches/events in Pakistan. Other examples are terror attacks on sensitive military installations such as GHQ, Mehran Naval Air Base, and Kamra Air Base, RAW’S involvement in worsening the security situation in Karachi and Balochistan and Army Public School Attack, 2014.

A cleverly-orchestrated plan to malign the armed forces and ISI has also been underway for a long time. India has hurled wild allegation against ISI and the army regarding support to the Haqqani network. One can also quote here the allegations on the media by some journalists and anchors in the country against ISI for death threats.  India also blamed Pakistan for involvement in Pathankot, Uri and Pulwama attacks to tarnish Pakistan’s international image. India has been trying for a long to isolate Pakistan internationally and to this end synchronized various tools, including lobbying and disinformation. India has tried to get Pakistan blacklisted by the finanical watchdog Financial Action Task Force.

In the economic domain, India has tried to subvert Pakistan’s plans to complete CPEC. This is proved by the arrest of RAW Agent Kulbhusan Jadhav and the open support given to Baloch separatist movements. India has done its utmost to undermine the CPEC by spreading fabricated information concerning its route and harping on the drummed up theme of injustice and exploitation of provincial resources. There is also evidence of RAW’s activities in Karachi and its linkages with armed wings of political parties in order to spread turmoil in the city in order to paralyze the economy of Pakistan

According to experts, the lack of quality education, coupled with the absence of good governance, has weakened our country’s capacity to deal with the challenges of the 21st century, thus making our youth an easy target for the enemy. Furthermore, due to bad planning and faulty policies, the economy is working much below its real potential. Most state institutions like Pakistan International Airline (PIA), Railways, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Pakistan Steel Mills have become a burden for the economy.

Due to poverty, a poor education system, unemployment and a chaotic social media, the youth in Pakistan is exposed to the machinations of hybrid warfare.

Pakistan’s sectarian and ethnic issues are also exploited by foreign elements.

to destabilize the country.

Pakistan needs a clear understanding of the developing situation in order to effectively counter India’s hybrid war strategies. Faced with a ruthless enemy, we have no choice but to tighten our belt and overcome our internal vulnerabilities without further loss of time. A priority need is to strengthen national cohesion and integration by educating the people about the ideological roots of our nationhood. This will be a befitting response to the enemy propaganda to divide the nation along ethno-sectarian lines.

Political instability coupled with the weakening of the country’s economy is having a negative impact on the people. The common Pakistani citizen faces serious economic hardships, social injustice, lack of job opportunities and shortage of basic necessities. The endless tension between the ruling party and the Opposition is another negative element which the hostile forces exploit to create a general sense of alienation and a trust deficit between the population and the government. It is only by strengthening the economy, ending the petty political wrangling and creating awareness among the people about the machinations of hostile forces that we can effectively deal with the threat ofs hybrid warfare

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