ISLAMABAD: Regional tensions have worsened cyber-enabled conflicts in South Asia, experts.

These were the views of experts speaking at a webinar on ‘Cyberspace Security in South Asia’ hosted by Strategic Vision Institute (SVI). The event was held to assess the impact of cyber and information operations to the security of the region that is being exacerbated by the inter-state conflicts, a media statement issued by the think-tank on Saturday said.

Former Air University vice chancellor retired Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Faaiz Amir said India had significantly enhanced its cyber capabilities and was seeking to dominate regional cyberspace.

Citing Indian IT industry’s figures for the last fiscal year, he said it generated a revenue of $191 billion, which made over 8pc of India’s GDP. Growth of IT sector at such a huge pace, moreover, helped India greatly off-set its import bill.

He said India was likely to introduce a new cyber security policy this year.

AVM Amir said states compete for superiority at local system level to impact other countries at psychological and decision-making levels by causing major disruptions and occasional damage.

He said India had a large technical force to be a factor in a conflict.

Associate Dean at the National University of Sciences and Technology Dr Tughral Yamin said although security ranks high on Pakistan’s national agenda, in the increasingly complex threat milieu, cyber security usually got relegated to the bottom rung and sometimes was literally ignored.

Therefore, Pakistan is way behind other countries in protecting itself in cyber space, he added.

Dr Yamin urged effective policies and legislation to counter the ill-effects of debilitating cyber-attacks.

SVI President Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema, in his introductory comments, deliberated on how cyber space evolved into the new domain of warfare in the 21st century.

He said South Asia too had been affected by this emergent warfare domain because of Indian aspiration to dominate cyberspace. Pakistan, he maintained, was among the most spied countries and was also among the most vulnerable countries as far as cyber-security was concerned.

Dr Cheema recalled the intensification of India’s cyber-attacks against Pakistan and called for enhancing cyber capabilities.

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2021

Opinion

Winds of change?
Updated 10 Apr 2021

Winds of change?

Could the new cabinet fuel a renewed effort by the government to delve deeper into the real afflictions of governance?
Troubled waters ahead
Updated 09 Apr 2021

Troubled waters ahead

Rising inflation and depleting political capital are the most obvious reasons.

Editorial

10 Apr 2021

Greater tax burden

THE FBR’s tax target of Rs6tr for the next year under the IMF-mandated fiscal adjustment policies will increase ...
UK travel ban
Updated 10 Apr 2021

UK travel ban

Pakistan continued to allow passengers to arrive without quarantine requirements.
10 Apr 2021

IS in Mozambique

IT was not too long ago when the dreaded shock troops of the self-declared Islamic State group were rampaging ...
09 Apr 2021

Improving ties with Russia

RUSSIAN Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov struck the right tone during his visit to Pakistan. In a press conference...
Forces’ criticism bill
Updated 09 Apr 2021

Forces’ criticism bill

No one is above criticism, including the senior leadership of our security apparatus.
09 Apr 2021

ODI series triumph

WEDNESDAY’S victory over South Africa at Centurion has brought Pakistan a much-awaited overseas ODI series ...