Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Op-ed: India’s Political and Hybrid Warfare Against Pakistan

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War as a phenomenon is as old as human existence. The notion of war has been around since time immemorial. When it comes to attaining strategic gains, strategic superiority, and resources, regardless of whether it be empires back in history or states in the present-day, they have always battled to accomplish vital increases over each other but the means and tools with which they fought have evolved to a greater extent over the years.

Hybrid warfare refers to the modern-day mode of warfare which includes a combination of conventional and non-conventional warfare, cybercrime, irregular warfare, propaganda, fake news, and other strategies to capture the vulnerabilities of the target audience to achieve goals. The hybrid warfare has indeed changed the perspective of war and its dynamics altogether. Especially in the case of the South Asian region, which is prone to war due to the inherently selfish nature of states to dominate and win over each other.

When analyzing the relation between Pakistan and India, a more prominent sense of unrest prowling around has been witnessed since the inception of these two states. The BJP led-Indian government policies towards Pakistan are aggressive and irrational. Indian media has played an important and biased role in floating fake news, propaganda, and in spewing venom against Pakistan which has resulted in filling the minds and hearts of almost all Indians with hatred and poison.

Read more: New Cyber Laws aimed at protecting country from hybrid warfare

The Indian media has always negated the factual data and diverted the news according to its purpose, playing with the minds of her people. Whether the news is related to border skirmishes, limited wars or insurgencies, Pakistan is the first to be blamed. Meanwhile, the facts have always been ignored and sugar-coated. It has been speculated that mainstream Indian media is being heavily funded by the Hindu extremist parties to project the biased and extremist view against Pakistan resulting in total political warfare.

India has constantly blamed Pakistan for the initiation of cross-border terrorism and skirmishes, swaying its people to believe in the same notion. According to the international reports, India had violated the Line of Control (LOC) approximately 900 times in 2017, whereas, Pakistan retaliated only 600 times, which is twice less. Besides, cinematography and mainstream social media along with the hybrid extremist campaigns have always added up spice to the reality on board.

An example of such false propaganda is the so-called ‘Surgical Strikes’ which India claimed on 28th September 2016, leading to false celebrations and victory, which was projected by the Indian government and the media. The magnitude of India’s hybrid and political warfare against Pakistan has intensified, since the Chinese growing interest in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in Pakistan.

Read more: Modi’s ‘Surgical Strikes’ On Whom? & Why?

The Indian government is not in favor of CPEC project let alone any economical investment by China or as a matter of fact any other state, which may entice any foreign investment, stabilizes or brings prosperity to Pakistan. During the tenure of PM Modi, India has been seen in a race to isolate Pakistan from major international/multilateral forums, projecting Pakistan as a terrorist harboring and irrational state along with floating the idea that the nuclear arsenal program of Pakistan is not in safe hands.

Pakistan has strongly condemned and rejected such unsubstantiated speculations. India has continued to threaten the national security of Pakistan by utilizing proxies in history as well as in present. The most prominent example can be taken of serving commander of the Indian Navy, Kulbushan Jadhav who was arrested on 3rd March 2016, during the counter-intelligence operation under the name of Hussain Mubarak Patel, in the province of Balochistan.

Pakistan claimed that the Indian spy was funded and supported by the Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) for spreading violence in Karachi, supporting Balochistan liberation army and militants’ groups to promote insurgency and sectarian riots. On the other hand, the money trail of another Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) is yet questionable. According to many sources, with the help of proxy warfare, India has supported and funded many insurgents’ groups that led to the hostile conditions in Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan posing a grave threat to the national security of Pakistan.

Read more: RAW’s journey from subtle disinformation to stark lies

Apart from proxies, there has been a precedent set by India to disparage Pakistan’s image in international politics. India has practiced inimical tactics and lobbying both overtly and covertly round the clock with countries to put Pakistan’s name in the Blacklist of Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It is due to the geopolitical aspirations and superiority India wants to attain while making sure to give a blowback to Pakistan in every possible way.

India’s growing Pakistan-phobia and hysteric policies can cost the South Asian region a lot than expected. India is pushing this region towards an arms race which can pose a potential threat of accidental war in the near future. Significantly, India needs to relinquish her irrational approaches and start resolving issues bilaterally, which only will bring harmony to this region.

Uswa Khan is currently enrolled in National Defense University undergoing her degree in Strategic Studies. Her area of interest includes National Security, Strategic Stability, Threat Perception, and PSYOPS. She has 3 publications in Strafasia and Modern Diplomacy. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.

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