Changing dynamics of warfare and Pakistan

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Barkat Ullah
Earlier nations fought wars against each other through direct military confrontations. Face to face battles were used to launch in which use of arsenals from low to high level were the tradition. States developed a number of weapons from low range to high one of mass distraction. But later on, as the world got globalize, the tactics of war begun to evolve as well. Despite direct use of hard power, nation states diverted their attention towards indirect ways of confrontations. Usage of proxies against the opponents, pursuing propagandas and utilizing soft power got more and more importance in this regard.
In the contemporary world the term of fifth generation warfare is getting significance day by day. Basically, fifth generation warfare is the tactics of an actor against its opponents under which it conducts propagandas and tends to construct narrative within them. Under such circumstances, a nation is weakened by their own people due to specific narrative and thoughts that are initiated in their minds against their own country. According to a number of war experts, fifth generation warfare is effective in those nations and states, where people feel suppression and deprivation in certain things. If we consider Pakistan and look to its current situations through the lenses of discussed facts and definitions of fifth
generation warfare, it is seriously exposed to the said tactics of warfare. There are a number of movements and sects in the various regions of Pakistan that have certain sentiments which empower the anti-state narrative. For instance, Pakhton Tahafuz Movement, PTM in the pashtoon belt of Pakistan have raised its voice against state and establishment policies over the years. Similarly, there are certain nationalist groups in Baluchistan too that want their say in a number of provincial affairs. In such
circumstances, anti-state actors from countries like India and Afghanistan use a number of issues like, extrajudicial killings, unfair distribution of resources, kidnapping of people by unknown ones and elite life style of military personals, to explode these people and build their perceptions according to its own will. The state of Pakistan needs a number of things to compete such atmosphere. Firstly, it is the need of hour that the ruling class should decrease the distance with those people who think they are treated unequally. Similarly, it is the responsibility of the government and state authorities to address a number
of sensitive issues, like that of missing persons and unfair behavior of ruling people with certain class and sects. Moreover, the state needs to pursue its soft power in a number of ways to compete and contain anti state propaganda that is building narrative against the interests of Pakistan. Further, media plays an important role in shaping public opinion, Pakistan needs to empower media to a large extent in this regard so that it shows positive side of the country.

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