t is profoundly interesting that, on the one hand, Pakistan is proposing peace talks with India and, on the other, it has recently stepped up its strategic (strategic) war operations abusing cyber space and social media in attempting to spark more trouble in Kashmir. Yet this is not surprising at all. Such diabolical acts are its hallmark on Pakistan’s part.
Similarly, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s diatribes on Kashmir during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi were remarkably contradictory to Pakistan’s intention to give an olive branch. Imran clearly proves to be pursuing a more hardened attitude towards Kashmir, maybe a shade or two more than most of his predecessors.
Pakistan’s psy-war game plan was one it manipulated following the September 7 murder of one Asif Nazib Dar who was found dead outside the Srinagar University campus. Immediately after the assassination, messages began flooding on Islamic State (ISIS) associated social media sites that Hizbul commander Riyaz Naikoo had killed him. This was followed immediately by almost nonstop propaganda about the Indian agencies eliminating Dar.
Dar alias Abu Anwar al Kashmiri was the third Amir of ISJK (Islamic State Jammu & Kashmir) to be killed in March of this year following Eisa Fazli and Dawood Ahmad Sofi in June. His body was covered in an ISIS black flag and an significant 14-minute long video that contained fake propaganda came into circulation. It is widely established that those who are involved in this unwelcome act owe their allegiance to ISIS leadership headed by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Meanwhile, the ISJK is visibly unhappy with the leadership of Hurriyat amid reports that on September 7, at the behest of Hurriyat, Delhi Police allegedly nabbed two activists for collecting ar67ms for ISJK.
In the meantime, it is disturbing that Al Qarar, an ISIS-backed social media channel, is engaged in a fierce competition with Al Qaeda to air its propaganda through social media campaigns specifically targeting Kashmir.
Continuing its tirade against the government agencies responsible for peacekeeping in Kashmir, Hizbul Mujahideen posed a threat to kill those working for the government or security forces. According to intelligence analysts, these videos and provocative ads emanate from Pakistani soil and are believed to be conceptualized and implemented by the Deep State. One of the videos from Pakistan included pictures of the security forces and the outfit banner named Umar Ibn Khitaab. In addition, Hizbul leader Syed Salahuddin has also called on his cadres to intensify a virulent campaign in Kashmir. Therefore, in summary, we see a well-considered psy-war as a definite trend, launched from Pakistan in an effort to unsettle things in Kashmir.
Now that everyone knows Pakistan is the villain of the whole psywar campaign, it is perhaps imperative to examine what can be done to counter it effectively.
Immediate steps must be taken to avoid unnecessary promotional content from reaching the hands of young people in Kashmir, whether they are studying in madarsas or in libraries and educational institutions. A bulk of these indoctrination and marketing content inspired by Wahhabi and Salafi is released in Pakistan and makes its way to Kashmir to infect innocent youth’s minds. Of course, Saudi Arabia, the largest exporter of Wahhabism, is a group to spread religious extremism that is proxied through Pakistan and a section of zealots. That, in effect, is churning out terrorism.
In order to overcome this malaise, it would be prudent to seek to infuse Sufism into the system as part of the social-level attempts to induce improvements. It can be of tremendous benefit to include sufi-inclined young people in coordinating activities to subtly counter terrorism propaganda. In combat the negative social media messages, youth may also be introduced in Rehma and other associated healing camps.
Sufi content also deserves publication and widespread distribution in pamphlet, book, and other media. Likewise a comprehensive and aggressive counter-campaign must be conducted on an unparalleled scale via social media. YouTube videos and advertisement-linked messages will flood and drown those dispatched across the border.
Meanwhile, the Indian Government has done well by spurning Pakistan’s fake openings offering talks at the foreign minister level. Also because Pakistan is so disgusting as in the recent killing of a BSF jawan by issuing postage stamps, as well as glorifying terrorists. So a full-fledged war is being waged on India using social media that needs to be neutralized as soon as possible.
Security analysts, those closely watching Kashmir, are positive at this juncture because the security team in place in Kashmir is highly professional and committed, particularly the J&K state police who are making untiring efforts to see that terror activities are kept well under control. They also look inspired and motivated as the Governor’s adviser himself was a top cop and is capable of leading from the front.
There is also the rule of governor in place that eliminates the chances of any political interference in the way police work. The governor himself is known to be friendly people and especially favorably inclined toward the youth and students. During his tenure he himself was president of the students ‘ union. And there appears to be no reason for concern. The team needs an opportunity to perform.