Home Global Village PTM: A practical manifestation of 5th generation warfare against Pakistan

PTM: A practical manifestation of 5th generation warfare against Pakistan


Merwah Qureshi |

Pakistan has remained the epicenter of war on terror. The war against terrorism has brought bruises and scars to her but the men in Khakis fought the hardcore militants valiantly and help Pakistan to get up and made her walk on the path of prosperity and development which irked her arch rivals from east and west. In the presence of an unbeatable armed force, her adversaries knew that Pakistan can never be defeated by kinetic warfare so they adopted the non-kinetic approach.

They used their proxies and hybrid war tactics to disrupt Pakistan’s pace towards growth. This time they hit the fault line of Fata and the Pashtun ethnicity. PTM (Pashtun Tahafuz Movement) is a practical manifestation of this 5th generation hybrid warfare which has its roots in anti-state propaganda setting by anti-Pakistan forces.

In the presence of an unbeatable armed force, the rivals knew that Pakistan can never be defeated by kinetic warfare so they adopted the non-kinetic approach.

Anti-State Posture of PTM

PTM is a movement launched by the Pashtuns for the rights of people of war-ridden areas. However, what makes PTM suspicious is its anti-Pakistan posture. Using the cards of Pashtun deprivation and the combined ethnicity, PTM leadership -under the suspicious umbrella of PTM is actually helping the anti-state forces to nourish anti-state narrative and to inculcate the anti-establishment approach in the minds of the general populace.

PTM has become a tale of a blame game. Its leadership has directly hit the prestigious institutions of state and has explicitly tried to malign the institution which helped the people of Fata to get rid of this menace of terrorism. Moreover, PTM under the agenda of just demands is accusing the state institutions of the chaos in the Fata region.

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PTM: A real Pashtun Tahafuz Movement or A Conspired Pakistan Torn Movement?

PTM is getting social media support and coverage by US-led western and Indo-Afghan media. Some pseudo-liberals and anti-establishment intellectuals with their short-sightedness are fanning the fuel by justifying and supporting the anti-state narrative of PTM. Furthermore, some Pashtun ethnic political parties aspiring for Pashtunistan find this PTM forum a perfect ground to realize their vicious aspirations.

The actual motivation behind this PTM saga resides in the perennial issue of Pashtunistan. The participation of displaced people from Afghanistan and the support of; Afghan parliamentarians, President Ashraf Ghani and thousands of Afghan refugees also testify this approach.

The insult to injury was added when a man -Toor Khan- was barred from waving Pakistan’s flag in PTM rally

In addition to this, the deputy of TTP’s (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan) South Waziristan wing Azmat Mehsud has appreciated the PTM leadership and has announced TTP’s support to this movement. It has been observed that on 29th April 2018 during PTM rally in Swat, the picture of Manzoor Pashteen with TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah was on several billboards and roadside banners.

The insult to injury was added when a man -Toor Khan- was barred from waving Pakistan’s flag in PTM rally. All these facts strengthened the approach that PTM is not Pashtun Tahafuz Movement but Pakistan Torn Movement. PTM is nothing but an engineered plan devised by the rival forces to affect Pakistan and to obstruct her growth.

Read more: What is hybrid warfare? – Ikram Sehgal

State’s Prudent Approach to Solve this Fiasco

Even after the anti-state posture of PTM, the state tried to solve this fiasco prudently by stepping forward towards negotiations and fulfilling their just demands but the top brass of PTM stepped back. The government has even provided the explanation of security checking in the Fata region that owing to the security dilemma in Fata and KP the state institutions are concerned about the security of these areas. The checking at check posts and other security tasks are for the betterment and safety of the populace of that war-torn area.

They -anti-Pakistan forces- used the constructivist approach and raised this PTM issue to hinder the development of Pakistan.

The government announced to fulfill the demands of PTM as per constitution but PTM leadership seems less interested in negotiation. COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa even visited Naqeeb Mehsud’s home. Moreover, the tribal Jirga is trying to approach the PTM leadership but they aren’t in a mood to solve the issue with a healthy dialogue. Here arises the question that what does the PTM leadership actually wants? This non-negotiating behavior of PTM makes it appear more suspicious.

PTM: A tool of Hybrid Warfare used by Anti-Pakistan Forces

In the light of facts discussed above, it is evident that PTM is a tool of Hybrid warfare used by anti-Pakistan forces to crush Pakistan’s strength and to challenge her existence. Hybrid warfare is the 5th generation non-conventional warfare. In the hybrid warfare, the people are pitched against their own state and people. They are used to revolt against the stable institutions of the state, which then critically affects the national environment and leads towards the humanitarian crises.

Read more: Is Pakistan ready to fight a Hybrid war?

This chaotic environment calls for the intervention of external powers. Thus, making the situation perfect for the adversary to sabotage country’s progress and achieve the desired goal. In the recent past many countries -Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Ukraine-have become the victim of this non-kinetic warfare which left these countries in a devastating situation.

Subverting Pashtuns is something next to impossible for their hearts remember how the men in Wardi – while risking their own lives- fought those militants and protected their people.

Pakistan’s arch-rivals have designed this plot to malign the most prestigious institution of the state. The rivals are actually paranoid about Pakistan’s speedy growth after the initiative of CPEC and her political and security stability. They are trying to affect Pakistan’s pace by their sponsored scheme of PTM. They-anti-Pakistan forces- used the constructivist approach and raised this PTM issue to hinder the development of Pakistan. They knew that Pakistan cannot be beaten by the kinetic approach so they took refuge in using a non-kinetic approach with the help of hybrid war to make Pakistan another Syria or Iraq.

Anti-Pakistan Forces have Struck the Wrong Chord this time

This time these anti-Pakistan forces have struck the wrong chord. They have forgotten that Pashtuns have always stood by the side of Pakistan in every difficult situation. They are 24% of the total population and the second largest ethnic community. Pakistan values the sacrifices they have made. Pakistan has always tried to give them their due share. Pashtuns have seen the gruesome effects of war and who knows war devastations better than them? They know that how the Armed forces of Pakistan protected their lives and families.

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The enemies should be made aware of the fact that Pashtuns have not forgotten the brutalities of TTP and other militant factions. They know that Baitullah, Hakimullah, and Fazlullah were not transported from Rawalpindi. So if anti-state forces think that they can fool Pashtuns and can buy their loyalties then they are absolutely wrong. Subverting Pashtuns is something next to impossible for their hearts remember how the men in Wardi – while risking their own lives- fought those militants and protected their people.

The aforementioned analysis unveils the underlying politics of this PTM. It is quite evident that PTM, as a movement is a covert plan which involves using Pashtuns as puppets to help the enemies achieve their goals.

Way Forward

Pakistan’s government is optimistic about the solution to this foreign-funded issue. The top brass knows that this issue can only be solved prudently. The government has not lost wits and aims to solve this looming threat with the help of an experienced, mature and honest state establishment. The state government is trying to bring PTM leadership to the negotiation table. It is the responsibility of people supporting PTM to think maturely and to persuade PTM leadership for a dialogue.

Read more: Baluchistan under fifth generation warfare

It has become incumbent on Pashtun society as a whole and the elderly tribesmen to stand united in this time of need with their state as they had done in past. Moreover, media awareness campaigns should be led to unveil the hidden realities lying under the name of PTM. The Pashtun society should be made aware of the fact that PTM is actually a conspiracy hatched by the enemies of Pakistan to make Pakistan another Syria.

Miss Merwah Hamid Qureshi holds an M. Phil Degree in Biochemistry from QAU, Islamabad and is also a visiting lecturer for International Relations at National Officers Academy (NOA), Rawalpindi. She is a freelance content writer for online portals like Amazon. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.