Hybrid Warfare in Pakistan

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Discuss the instruments and techniques of Hybrid Warfare in context of Pakistan.

Wars have always been dangerous and disastrous. But, with the revolution in technology and developments in political ideologies, the forms and shapes of war have changed. World has witnessed conventional military warfare. Now, it faces the political warfare, cyber warfare and irregular warfare. Beyond that, a new term of ‘hybrid warfare’ has been coined.

Hybrid Warfare
War usually refers to active hostilities between states or among different groups within a state. As far as hybrid warfare is concerned, it is relatively a new term. Hybrid warfare means the combination of several warfare methods or kinds. It is often defined as; “a military strategy which employs political warfare and blends conventional warfare, irregular warfare and cyber warfare with other influencing methods, such as fake news, diplomacy, law fare and foreign electoral intervention”.

Hybrid Warfare in Pakistan
Traditionally, external threats, particularly inter-state wars over territorial control, resources, and political hegemony, have been the main threats to the security of a state like Pakistan. But, now the country is facing hybrid war in shapes of political warfare, diplomacy warfare and unconventional threats.

Following can be seen as the instruments of hybrid warfare in Pakistan:

  • Separatist movements
  • Insurgents in Tribal Belt
  • Social Media Propagators of Fake News
  • Target Killers in Karachi

Such instruments of hybrid warfare in Pakistan use different techniques like:

  • The separatists exploit the local people against different grievances they hold against the state and government. The exploitation is actually backed by foreign hand thus causing massive disturbance in a region or the whole country.
  • The insurgents in the Tribal Belt of Pakistan use the techniques like suicidal bombing, conventional shootings and bombings across various public areas of the country to create deterrence and violate the peace of the country.
  • The social media propagators use the techniques like spreading fake news, inciting communalist feelings and instigating people against each other. This disturbs public tranquility. Such propagators work to advance the foreign agenda of disturbing the internal peace of country and destroying its political existence without firing a single shot.
  • Pakistan’s largest city Karachi has faced a decade of unrest in terms of target killings and attacks on common people. This was actually the clearest shape of hybrid warfare imposed by enemy on Pakistan. Such killers destroyed the peace of whole city thus resulting in economic loss and political instability.

Hybrid warfare is quite complex phenomenon. It cannot be understood even when happening against a state. It is sort of hidden warfare that affects the long term existence of the state without letting people realize what’s happening.

Warfare in any form is destructive for state. In present times, hybrid warfare is the most dangerous form of this destruction. Pakistan is facing imposed hybrid warfare in many shapes like internal ethnic and religious propaganda, target killings and rise of the separatist movements.

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