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Pakistan Army's Worst Fears: Fifth Generation Warfare

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With open expression to opposition to the Pakistan Army’s activities on social media, the military has been consistently claiming that it is a victim of Fifth Generation Warfare or wars of perception driven by misinformation and disinformation deliberately targeting institutions to undermine their integrity.

In April video clips of masked and uniformed men beating up the police in Bahawalnagar, in South Punjab raised the ire of the Army wherein social media posts indicating high handedness of the military were rampant.

The Army was peeved as despite a joint investigation by Pakistan Army and Punjab Police launched promptly posts blaming the Army continued.

The issue was serious enough to find mention in the 264th Corps Commanders’ Conference at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, was presided over by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir.

As per a press release from the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR). “Forum noted with concern the malicious propaganda campaign meant to demoralise the armed forces.” the ISPR said. It added that the senior military moot also underscored that “unfounded and baseless allegations on law enforcement agencies and security forces have become a fashion and are part of the larger design to drive a wedge between the people and the armed forces of Pakistan,” adding that the army would not allow such efforts to succeed and stern action would be ensured against them as per the law and Constitution. It was stated that the “malicious propaganda campaign was meant to demoralise the armed forces” and distancing them from the nation, stressing that the army would not allow such efforts to succeed.

While the Army’s bete noire Mr Imran Khan leader of the Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf is jailed and is not likely to have any relief given his personal misadventures as well as the ire of the Establishment, he has ignited an anti-Army sentiment in his large swathe of supporters who remain at large on the social media. Any misdemeanors by the military are fuel to fire of these young media savvy ‘army’ of social media activists.

Rather than having an ear to the ground of concerns by the people at large and reviewing its indulgence in political and social matters beyond the purview of a professional army, the Establishment has raised the bogey of a Fifth Generation War being waged against it.

Information wars cannot be won by brandishing the gun and Pakistan Army is ill equipped to deal with this new form, railing against the same in the high powered commanders conference is no panacea.

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