ISLAMABAD: Experts at a webinar termed the 9/11 incident as the outcome of the hybrid war that intensified 5th generation warfare around the globe.
It was a human tragedy and the incident changed the entire landscape of peace and prosperity globally, especially causing an irreparable dent to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The webinar was organised by the Development Communications Network on Saturday.
The experts suggested that while negotiating the peace process in Afghanistan, the US and Nato should also consider conducting a comprehensive regional study on the impact of 19 years of consistent threat of terrorism on the mental health of people living in the region.
The study should also include impact of war against terrorism on socio-economic conditions, culture and environment of both countries.
A rehabilitation programme should follow the post-peace process accordingly.
Assistant professor international relations at the National Defense University Dr Imran Ashraf said: “We are living in the era of 5th generation warfare where misleading, pessimist and conflict-raining information plays a crucial role in disorienting the citizens.
“The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the main source of dissemination of such type of information that disintegrate the fabric of society. It also creates frustration and distress. The government needs to have a check on ICT use in Pakistan without compromising on the basic rights of the citizens.”
Well-known environmentalist and former director general of Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) Asif Shuja Khan said air, water and land have been immensely degraded during the war against terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Foreign Office should write to the US and Nato for a comprehensive study of the environmental, cultural and socioeconomic loss. It should be followed by a rehabilitation plan. Not only 9/11 but the post-event trauma was more horrible for the mental and psychological health of the people living in the region, he said.
Geopolitical analyst Shamshad Mangat said the 9/11 incident only benefited the global ordnance factories and the manufacturers of heavy weapons.
Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed said frustration and chaos is rising in the developing countries as the 5th generation warfare intensifies.
He said state institutions are confronting their own citizens for doubts of integrity. Right to information and expression is being declined, adding more frustration and distress among the young and those having differently framed opinions.
This distrust may lead to anarchic situation and direct confrontation between the state institutions and the people thinking differently if the confidence building measures are not taken up, he added.
Mr Ahmed said mental health, cultural and environmental loss of Afghanistan and Pakistan had never been accounted for while talking about the post 9/11 impact and losses.
Before the US and Nato decide to quit Afghanistan, they should take up a study of social and environmental loss followed by rehabilitation investment, he said.
Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2020