By Jawad Raza Khan
A fast internet connection, a mini note book or a laptop, PDA (I-Mac, Android) with a nerd sitting on it, is the basic ingredients of “a nameless strategic legionnaire”, in today’s cyber war zone. Today all sorts of wars, may it be a conventional or unconventional, may it be a social war or an economic one, may it be a cultural invasion or a controlled insurgency in shape of terrorism, the most horrific part is “the most lethal weapon does not even appear like a weapon”.
Around 30 years back technologically robust nations appreciated, understood, tamed, trained, employed and in turn deployed their tentacles to cash out the situation before rest of the world could recognize the lethality of this weapon system. As of now in 2011, the ignorant parts of the world are under huge turmoil (because of their respective weak and exposed areas). This can be experienced with ease all around us especially in the Muslim dominated parts of the planet. The recent Arab revolution is one of the most talked and decisive events in the aftermath of intelligent Social Media Networking, turning into revolution or insurgency. As in most of the Arab states the print and the electronic media was state controlled using SMN (Social Media Networking) was the only and effective way out, to get the best results in an unaware and a non-dynamic society of Arabs.
On the other hand Pakistan whirling nuclear in face of all odds, with economic and political aspirations of super powers especially after 9/11 has indeed brought it into focus. Pakistan with its free media policy in Musharraf’s tenure has brought one thing positive with all its negativity, here now people are more dynamic and thoughtful (may be filled with negative trends), but not unaware. Although the negative trends setting in by media has massively polluted the overall mindset, but at least, a pressure cooker situation has not reached despite of one of the worst kind of democracy and governance prevailing here. This does not tantamount to the fact that we are not prone to this cyber invasion by the super and regional powers; rather we are subjected to this bombardment extensively during the last five years.
Have we ever thought that in a country where from bread to medicine price of every commodity is sky rocketed, in a country where every individual is under debt of US $ 1000 even before his birth and a country where police and justice are impossible to be accessed and made to work in the interest of citizens of Pakistan then, why the most cheapest and readily available facilities are cellular phone connections and cable TV network? Why US consulate in Karachi has handed over hundreds of I-pads to the bloggers and twitters of Pakistani blogosphere in June 2011? And Why Kerry Lugar bill has sanctioned 18 million dollars to be provided to a selected lobby of media in Pakistan?
We cannot do a blame throwing game to hide our weaknesses, but a just and a logical comprehension of the prevailing situation can lead us to a calculated comparison of environments before and after 9/11. Last decade has been the worst in the complete history of Pakistan as now; the most confused proposition to be discussed in Pakistan right now, is its own ideology; You talk on any issue in the masses the end will be hopelessness; the young generation is devoid of ethics and loyalty to the state; We are the one of the most ill-disciplined nation on the planet with no institution working to its even 30% of its operational capacity including the primary institution of parents and school. You all will bear me out that the previous decade has been the most damaging as far as our society is concerned.
In addition to above, some hot issues which Pakistan is handling right now are ripe and cooked on SMN(Social Media Network) by the enemies of Pakistan for example; For Azad Baluchistan Propaganda, Facebook, Blogs, twitter and You tube subscribers has always been a trump card for the enemy. Although authorities have blocked few sites to stop the propaganda but it is not working as their responding pages on Facebook is delivering messages through SMN. There are more than 5000 Facebook pages generated with most of the IPs generating those pages are located in India, one of the most clear evidence of Indian involvement in Baluchistan covertly through non state actors. How come a story is popped up after every three to four months regarding insecure nuclear installations of Pakistan and is comprehensively carried forward by not only international but domestic media as well? Thus, a wrong and a venomous message is propagated by hook or by crook using SMN and its attributes. The phenomenon of Wiki-leaks is yet another form of cyber war which now has the capability to drive the media managers in the direction west want them to drive. I think, I will not be exaggerating if I say that Wiki-leaks is nothing but a non-state actor of the west terrorizing every state with a theme and aim behind it. Unfortunately third world countries are still not mature and capable enough to comprehend and react accordingly.
For complementing the cyber effort of west, most part of Pakistan’s print and electronic media is either hijacked or invested and the remaining has been towed behind another fatal concept of anchor/channel rating is not expected to do any worthwhile action against this cyber onslaught. This has left with only one option available for the state is to create Cyber Army capable of guarding state’s interest in the field of perception management.
The idea of developing cyber armies is not a novice for the developed nations around the globe, US and Israel were the first to start the activity and the results are not required to be mentioned again. Indian expediencies in this arena of warfare on the lines of state of Israel have been the most damaging factor as far as the internal chaos of Pakistan is concerned. Immediate prioritization of medium to be used by state to bail out Pakistan in this chaotic internal and external condition can be seen as the only way out. Initiative is the key to success, state of Pakistan must evolve a system to incorporate 10 million Pakistani users of Social Media Networks, which are mostly comprised of youth of Pakistan. Precise and timely employment of these assets can not only save the nation but can also act as a catalyst to re-live our lost ideology with strength and honour inside and acceptability outside Pakistan.
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