What is fifth generation war? How is it fought? How is an enemy brought down in it? These things will be discussed in today’s column. We will also see how to reinforce the very foundation of Pakistan and stand by those who protect it with their life and blood. Fifth generation war can be defined as series of hostile activities which engage entire society, nation and which is fought against an invisible enemy. Sometime obscure enemy employs natives who become inadvertent tools in their hands. To be more precise, common people are soft targets. Hard target uses computer or some other gadgets to impose an imperceptible but lethal war. The main weapons of fifth generation war are not jet fighters, tanks, missiles and guns but diplomacy, TV, radio, newspaper, social media, film and economy. It is not fought on ground but in the minds of people. It doesn’t target body but brain. It doesn’t require paratroopers to land behind enemy lines but the people of the targeted country to be used against the same to achieve the goal. We have been hearing about this war for the last some years. Basically, it is being fought by launching a propaganda drive against Pakistani institutions. During the last two decades, Pakistani media has scaled new heights. Its infrastructure has seen a mushroom growth. In the past, there was only print media and a state run TV channel, but now hundreds of private channels are copped up. During these two decades, these private TV channels touched such a pinnacle of popularity that people cut off their engagements to watch their talk shows. They started to believe in what was streamed out, true or false. In this way, the enemy got a chance to play a nefarious game against Pakistan. During the last decade, social media boomed with a bang. It relegated TV channels to the background as TV channels did with print media in the previous decade. Now social media is substituting TV channels. Previously, TV and radio were used for propaganda but now ideological wars are waged on social media. Here people are brainwashed and whipped up against institutions. Without any constraint, baseless things are circulated against Pak army. It is all due to unbridled freedom. Someone, under the pretext of public welfare, housed in America or India is inciting people against their institutions. Rebellion is kicked up by instigating young generation against army and state institutions. Readers may remember that during the Arab Spring which shattered many established governments in the Middle East, youngsters were provoked to rebel against their governments through of the use of social media. It was fifth generation war that the enemy sitting at a distance was brainwashing them while the governments being targeted could do nothing against the enemy. Now in fifth generation war, Pakistan is the target of hostile forces. To fuel this war, freedom of expression is the mantra. If enemies’ conspiracies are unmasked, then howl of protest is raised that freedom of media is being curbed in Pakistan. There is no denying the fact that Pakistani journalists have won this freedom after massive sacrifices. But at the same time, we need to take care if our enemy isn’t assaulting our ideological boundaries under the excuse of this freedom. Isn’t army being targeted? The army which has uprooted the cancer of terrorism from the country? Aren’t young men being brainwashed to disparage the army? During fifth generation war, the responsibility of media is multiplied. We need to be vigilant in the use of freedom of media especially when our enemy is exploiting it. It is not that Pakistan has no freedom of speech, freedom of press and media. Rather Pakistan has more freedom than most of the countries. In India, people are being arrested for merely breaking the news of oxygen shortage. On the other hand, our army is libeled on social media but no action is taken against anyone. However, it doesn’t mean that we should let the things get going. For this, Pakistani media, journalists and social media activists should use their fundamental freedoms with care and responsibility. It is our national obligation to keep an eye on conspiracies of the enemy who is waging fifth generation war and eliminate anti-Pakistan elements.