n Adeela Naureen and

      Umar Waqar

As per techtarget.com “Cyber warfare is Internet-based conflict involving politically motivated attacks on information and information systems. Cyber warfare attacks can disable official websites and networks, disrupt or disable essential services, steal or alter classified data, and cripple financial systems, among many other possibilities.”

As per Alvin Toffler, “the media fire blips of unrelated information at us. Experts bury us under mountains of narrowly specialized monographs. Popular forecasters present lists of unrelated trends, without any model to show us their interconnections or the forces likely to reverse them. As a result, change itself comes to be seen as anarchic, even lunatic.”

And may we add that the power of social media which is unbridled and almost free (minus the one which is controlled by vested interests) that you can find what recently happened in India for instance, the exodus of Northeasterners from (mainly) Southern India. Today’s discussion is not about India’s fault lines and the simmering currents of revolt knocking at the doors of New Delhi, but a sinister blame campaign launched by, apparently, supporters of the leadership of India that Pakistani groups were involved in a campaign to divide India. Despite our limited access to what happens inside the ‘Shining India’, we would like to expose the contours of a persistent anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam cyber war that has been waged by Indian groups (government sponsored and private) to demonize and belittle Pakistan in every way possible.

While being fully cognizant of the fact that it is only the resilience of the people that has let Pakistan float through its socio-economic and security challenges during the last one decade, the country at present presents an ideal target for cyber warfare and information operations. With help from some Pakistani intellectuals in print and electronic media as well as a policy of appeasement adopted by successive Pakistani governments, the Indian cyber warfare apparatus has been allowed a free run to bludgeon Pakistan as well as Islam.

The paucity of space for discussion here restricts us from doing a post-mortem of the Indian cyber war against Pakistan. However, few glimpses of one forum, Bharat Rakshak.com (which in our opinion is the vanguard organization of Pakistan and Islam specific cyber war apparatus), could be an eye opener for many. Bharat Rakshak (BR) is a Pakistan-hate forum with viewership running into millions. We wish the Aman Ki Asha group to have an open discussion with this forum, which would make it realise that peripheral, social and media exchanges for peace do not stand any chance of mitigating the hate being created by this one forum only. So, they may be wasting a lot of time of a lot of people across the great divide.

Bharat Rakshak has a clearly articulated offensive and defensive strategy in place and an admirable ability to pick anything from Pakistani or international media to demonize Pakistan. An interesting thread currently run by BR is, “A mirror on Pakistan in their own words by Pakistanis”. A section of Pakistani newspapers, TV anchors and intellectuals, who adopt an unnecessarily harsh critical approach to practices associated with Islam, are the most sought out and quoted in this thread. Pakistan is satirically named as Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TIRP)

Demonizing Islam as well as the Indian Muslims: Hate material runs into millions of comments and views insulting our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as well as Muslim akabireen and leadership. General themes include Islam bashing, Bangladeshi bashing, portraying Pakistanis as illiterate and ridiculing the sectarian divisions within Islam. An example of a disturbing way of expressing everything associated with Pakistan is that Pak-China friendship has been displayed by an insulting photograph, a monkey (Pakistan) riding a pig (China). Pakistan’s ISI has a special forum for discussion and is one of the prime targets of the BR.

There is a confused and free for all strategists’ Strategic Forum on Subcontinent with self-created and imaginary threats discussed on a daily basis. It appears that the fear factor of being ruled by others has not left the Indian psyche even after getting independence. There are seemingly permanent imprints of that period, as confirmed by Bharat Verma’s latest book on India’s fault lines.

The Boomerang on India’s Face: What the cyber warriors of India forget is that you cannot insult a community which forms 20 percent of you demography, the Muslims of India. They do not realise that Pakistan bashing, Islam bashing and insulting our respected forefathers would do them little good in the ultimate analysis; this practice would not be digested by any Muslim, Pakistani or Indian.

To highlight their anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam bias we will quote from Bharat Rakhshak discussion forum on how should the US fulfil the mean desires of India, “If the Americans think straight, and with a clear lens not dirtied with Gulf Arab oil and money, then they would not be confounded by Paki “treachery”. Paki behaviour will then be perfectly understandable and predictable, once they understand the true nature of the Sunnis. And then, never again will they make the mistake of going into Iraq of even Afghanistan to tackle radical Islam; instead they would squeeze the Pakis (the body of the snake) and the Saudis (the head of the snake).

Those who negate the Two-Nation Theory within India or Pakistan must understand that, as in the past, it is being fortified by such virulent anti-Pakistan campaign.

Recently, Narendra Singh Modi accused the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government of disrespecting the Indian culture by allegedly promoting the slaughter of cows to increase the prospects of beef export. Well beef is a different issue, Mr Modi, especially when it comes to making good profit. Incidentally, India is forecast to become the world’s leading beef exporter in 2012, which makes it clear that there are no longer any holy cows. Only the Muslims in India will not be allowed to touch them!

The writers are freelance columnists based in Zimbabwe.Email: yalla_umar@yahoo.com