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Baluchistan: The target of fifth generation warfare


Abdul Rasool Syed |

Baluchistan, the El-dorado of Pakistan and a province of highly geo-strategic, geo-economic and geo-political importance seems to be witnessing fifth generation warfare. In fact, this war has been choreographed by our adversaries to destabilize whole Pakistan whereas Baluchistan, as it provides the fertile ground to sow the seeds of such war has been opted as a launching pad to initiate this non-conventional-cum- lethal fight against our beloved country.

Here the question arises, what is fifth generation warfare and how it is different from conventional modus operandi of war and why it is resorted to? To answer these, we, first of all, are supposed to understand the previous concepts of warlike first, second, third and fourth generation warfare.

Fifth generation warfare is the latest phenomenon that is entirely different from all other previously practiced forms of war. The tactics and paraphernalia of this type of war are modern as well as deadly.     

First generation war depended on manpower: the largest number of muscular men fighting physically. Second generation war depended on artillery and superior firepower, epitomized by world war I. World war II marked third generation warfare characterized by synchronized air, sea, and ground operations.

The evolved form of insurgency warfare witnessed during the Chinese revolution and later in Vietnam and Afghanistan has been termed as a fourth generation warfare. Further, this kind of war is waged by non-state actors and asymmetric warriors employing terrorism as a tool to achieve their political objectives.

Read more: Foreign agencies in Baluchistan: raising anti-CPEC narrative?

Fifth generation warfare is the latest phenomenon that is entirely different from all other previously practiced forms of war. The tactics and paraphernalia of this type of war are modern as well as deadly. It begins as a psychological warfare and at a final stage snowball into a full-scale physical war. It is triggered when it becomes impossible for a country to balkanize the opponent country through the direct use of force.

Therefore, the technique of propaganda warfare is employed to spread anarchy, chaos, and desperation. Resultantly, the unity of the nation is absolutely shattered and the people are divided into different small factions and thereby establish parallel governments; writ of the state no longer exists and the law of the land is breached with impunity.

According to a US army major Shannon Beebe, this kind of warfare would be motivated by frustration than any other material or ideological objective.

To achieve these objectives, the people are divided on sectarian, ethnic, and linguistic lines. They are pitched against their own security institutions. This very situation ultimately culminates into civil war. Furthermore, mistrust and antipathy against the army of the country are excessively fostered.

Consequently, the army that serves as the lifeblood for any country gets no public support to perpetuate their operations against the enemies of the country. In the aftermath, the country’s invincibility is severely damaged…this is the maneuver employed by the foe country to advance her wicked plot to eviscerate the victim country internally.

Read more: PM fails to pacify Baluchistan lawmakers

Externally, the conspiracy is hatched to isolate the country in the comity of nations. Notably, Social Media is the key weapon in this war to be exploited by the enemies to spread disinformation and revulsion against the victim country. Subsequently, the county is divested of any international succor. Under this situation, the adverse forces march ahead to establish their hegemony over the vanquished country.

Moreover, poverty, economic deprivation, and political injustices also breed fifth generation warriors. According to a US army major Shannon Beebe, this kind of warfare would be motivated by frustration than any other material or ideological objective. Therefore, the frustration of the local people caused by political, social, and economic deprivation is excessively exploited by the enemies to further their Machiavellian agenda…

A large number of people die every year due to non-availability of basic health facilities. Regrettably, there is no state-of-the-art hospital in whole Baluchistan.

Now, if we take the current situation of Baluchistan into account, it becomes evident that all the ingredients of fifth generation warfare abundantly exist in our resource-laden though backward province of our country… The brutal attempt of genocide of Hazara community as a result of growing religious extremism and sectarianism, alarming surge of secessionists fanning the flames of secession and mushrooming economic deprivation and political dissonance over major national issues accompanied by mounting frustration among the masses … all these facts when kept together utterly insinuate that we are undergoing a coup de main of fifth generation warfare in country’s biggest province.

Baluchistan by virtue of its geography and resources has always remained center of attraction for international powers. The imperialists are always engaged to gain control over this part of our country. Here it is they find a suitable environment to launch any nefarious campaign against our country.

Read more: The myth of Greater Baluchistan Debunked: Part I

There are myriad reasons for this selection but the first and the foremost is the socio-economic backwardness of this region. As mentioned earlier, the socio-economic backwardness of any country serves the interests of the enemies in fifth generation warfare that’s’ why Baluchistan due to its chronic backwardness and underdevelopment becomes an ideal place for our enemies to further their anti-Pakistan campaign.

According to the latest UNDP report, Baluchistan maintains the lowest HDI points (0.421) whereas Punjab was allotted highest HDI points (0.732) followed by Sindh (0.640) and KP (0.628)…in addition, Baluchistan also has the lowest levels of a living standard at 33.9 percent. Punjab, Sindh, and KP have 83 percent, 67.6 percent, and 67.1 percent respectively. For poverty, Balochistan is the poorest with 0.394 points, followed by KP at 0.25 points, Sindh at 0.231points and Punjab being the least poor at 0.152 points.

These separatists are poised to form a synergy with the fifth generation warriors since the interests of both the groups (to balkanize Pakistan) coalesce with each other.

Likewise, education and health sectors that are considered as the key components of the human development index depict an abysmally dismal picture. Despite tall claims of the government of imposing educational emergency, the standard of education here in Baluchistan shows zero improvements; it, at presents, maintains a literacy rate of 41% which is the lowest among all the provinces of Pakistan.

Similarly, the health sector is also in deplorable condition. A large number of people die every year due to non-availability of basic health facilities. Regrettably, there is no state-of-the-art hospital in whole Baluchistan. Therefore, the poverty-stricken people of the province are compelled to go to Karachi and another metropolis of the country for the treatment of even minor diseases.

Read more: Is Baluchistan in Pakistan or…?

Politically, Baluchistan is ruled by the tribal chiefs and feudal lords. They due to their large land holdings exert enormous influence on the electorate of their area. Resultantly, they reach the corridors of power without any hindrance.

On the contrary, Federal parties like PML (N) PPP, PTI express lukewarm interest in the politics of Baluchistan. Ironically, The former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who was the prime minister of whole Pakistan used to visit only bi-annually to the country’s biggest and the most sensitive province and such visit was only CPEC-centric; barely to inaugurate some projects in Gwadar…Such unprecedented apathy on part of the head of the country makes the inhabitants of province feel themselves as alienated and politically orphaned.

This very situation provides the separatist movements like BLA, BLF, and other the like-minded groups with a reasonable ground to promote the centrifugal tendencies among the frustrated people. These separatists are poised to form a synergy with the fifth generation warriors since the interests of both the groups (to balkanize Pakistan) coalesce with each other. This is indubitably a lethal combination to fight with. This is exactly what is happening in Baluchistan.

Most importantly, the government is supposed to show sobriety and a consuming passion to deal with the socio-politico-economic affairs of the province.

It makes Baluchistan extremely important for our internal stability as well as external security. Let me borrow few lines from the latest book “spy chronicles” co-authored by Asad Durrani Ex- ISI chief and his counterpart A.S Dulat Ex- head of RAW to substantiate my viewpoint.

While discussing the importance of Baluchistan Asad Durrani writes:” it is an important area for different purposes. Some are there to blow up the pipeline Iran and Pakistan want to build or to sabotage the economic corridor; others because they don’t want to miss out on what the first lot are planning. The place is crucial for the “New great game”…

To counter this malevolent game plan, we, as a nation should be excessively cautious of what is happening in Baluchistan and formulate a multi-faceted and holistic strategy to cope with this fifth generation warfare.

Read more: What is meant by the fifth generation warfare & why Pakistanis…

To this end, we’ll have to set our own house in order. Unity is the need of the hour since “united we stand, divided we fall’. We should think as a nation beyond our parochial interests and petty differences and put an end to our ethnic and linguistic scrimmages. Both Pashtun and Baloch are sons of the soil; both should understand the conspiracies of the foes that are there to make them fight to further their mala fide interests.

In addition, sectarianism and extremism should also be dealt with an iron hand. The proscribed organizations should not be allowed to operate under any other denomination or mould. Friday sermons containing virulent contents need to be regulated as it is done in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and turkey.

Most importantly, the government is supposed to show sobriety and a consuming passion to deal with the socio-politico-economic affairs of the province. Unless these issues are resolved, we cannot win this undeclared-cum-catastrophic fifth generation war. If we want to scupper the plans of our nemesis, we need to organize our people politically, socially and economically.

Read more: Pakistan in midst of a fourth generation war?

“Come forward as servants of Islam,” said our great Quaid M.A Jinnah “, organize the people economically, socially, educationally and politically and I am sure that you will be a power that will be accepted by everybody”… after all, “there is no power on earth, remarked our founding father “that can undo Pakistan.

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