Journalism in the context of hybrid warfare | Pakistan Today

Journalism in the context of hybrid warfare

  • Responsibility in reporting
Journalism is an activity of gathering, assessing, creating and presenting news and information. The more democratic a society, the more news and information it tends to have.
The value of journalism flows from its purpose, that is, to provide people with verified information that they can use to make better decisions about their lives, communities, societies and governments. A journalist must be unbiased; in that, he needs to become conscious of prejudiced proclivity at play in a given narrative. He should also be sensitive to the source of information and its authenticity. A journalist has therefore to be transparent, fair, true,
accurate, unbiased, conscious of false omniscience, precise and honest. He must share his sources of information, how they are in a position to know something and what their potential
biases might be. A journalist should not get influenced by any authorities or officials. It must be understood that a narrative built on an inaccurate assumption will eventually collapse and
impinge upon his reputation as a honest journalist.
Hybrid warfare is a relatively new term, which has no universally recognised definition. It is mostly being used as a catchall phrase to describe a clandestine non‐military destabilisation
efforts incorporating modern‐day technologies. The hostile forces exploit any opportunity that naturally or artificially arise in order to destabilise a nation and that they usually begin by using the seemingly subtle methods of perception management techniques in order to open the door to unleashing a hybrid war, later on. Thus it can be defined as an externally provoked identity conflict, which exploits historical, ethnic, religious, socio economic and geographic differences within the geostrategic transit states through the phased transition from colour revolutions to unconventional wars, so as to disrupt, control or influence multipolar transnational connective infrastructure projects by means of regime tweaking, regime change, and/or regime reboot.
Initiation of war on terror by the US led forces in Afghanistan, after 9/11, created conditions for simultaneous targeting of Pakistan through hybrid war
Initiation of war on terror by the US led forces in Afghanistan, after 9/11, created conditions for simultaneous targeting of Pakistan through hybrid war. At an initial stage mushroom growth of NGOs was witnessed, some of which were allegedly designed to conduct espionage and subversion. The foreign intelligence agencies were also allowed to recruit local agents in FATA, so as to carry out espionage and procure sensitive security information. Eruption of urban terrorism in Karachi, insurgency in Baluchistan and acts of sectarian violence, suicide
attacks and target killings succeeded. The aim was to weaken the will of people through fear
and creating wedge between various segments of civil society and armed forces of Pakistan.
After arranging NRO for the discredited politicians, they were inflicted upon the Pakistani nation through manipulated elections. These leaders laundered money at a staggering scale
leaving national economy in tatters and bewildered masses, starving and yearning. Through them, state institutions/Pakistani foreign missions abroad were penetrated, for manipulating state policies and breaching security citadel thus laying edifice for dismantling Pakistan. “Memo
gate”, “Dawn Leaks” and missing American weapons containers during transit to Afghanistan are just few cases that came to the public view. This process was given fillip through the
passage of 18th amendment in the constitution. The unleashing of media war through sponsored agenda, continues to project themes that support
national dis‐unity and encourage secessionist tendencies. Armed forces being the primary institution fighting terrorism and jelling unity of the country, is principal target of the ongoing
hybrid war. The scarlet thread of this hybrid war is to defame, marginalise and degrade the armed forces of Pakistan and the state institutions, through talk shows, publication of biased
stories, articles, books and spreading of rumours. The main propaganda themes are, Pakistan harbouing and supporting militant groups, which are a threat to neighbouring countries hence
Pakistan deserves to be isolated, marginalised and declared a terrorist state, killing and abduction of innocent civilians and projecting Pakistan as a failed state etc.
Nuclear weapons falling into the hands of none state actors was perpetually hypothesised and propounded in
tandem. Many a journalists and story/drama writers went berserk and freely promoted antistate
sentiment and dismemberment of Pakistan. Many publications repugnant to national integrity appeared over a period of time which adversely affected the morale of Pakistani nation and generated controversy over already settled issues like Kala Bagh Dam, share of provinces in the national resources of Pakistan, armed forces involvement in commercial activities and efficacy of the CPEC etc.
In certain cases, even the Pakistan Armyed forces inadvertently sponsored such organisations, political parties and journalists who had ulterior motives and accentuated identity conflicts. A book captioned “From Kargil to the Coup” authored by Nasim Zehra has been recently published, which contains many motivated distortions to discredit, frustrate and humiliate Pakistan army and its senior officers. At an individual level, the sham and whimsical
notion was rebutted through a rejoinder to the book published in a national newspaper, “The Nation”, Lahore, dated 23 July 2018, so as to set the record straight from the historical prospective. Such distortion of facts was also experienced in an earlier case of “Military Inc: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy”, a book written by Ayesha Saddiqa.
It is imperative for the security agencies to identify such unscrupulous, vicious and unreliable elements, organisations and individuals who are active in unleashing hybrid war against Pakistan and its institutions, particularly the armed forces and law enforcement agencies. The Pakistan army being the fundamental target of this warfare must isolate such foreign sponsored and funded journalists, for initiation of appropriate punitive action against