Sunday, 21 July 2019

Digital platforms give militants huge advantage: Gen Raheel

DAVOS: Former army chief General (r) Raheel Sharif on Tuesday highlighted Pakistani army’s counter-terrorism operations and improved security environment at World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos. During the panel discussion on “Terrorism in the Digital Age”, Gen Raheel Sharif said that intelligence sharing is key to success against terrorism. “Intelligence sharing is key to success against terrorism. That’s very very important. If there is intelligence sharing, actionable intelligence, and countries work and act on it, I think they can bring a difference.”  “In Pakistan, it was a whole of nation approach… which paid. Everybody came together. At an international level also, there is a requirement to have synergy, and in fact a platform. The UN Resolution 1373 says everybody has a responsibility,” he added. To a question about effective use of digital platform by terrorists, Gen Raheel said it gives them huge advantage. “I personally feel that these terrorists have the ability to mutate, morph and they can do it very quickly. And obviously this platform of digital age is available whether it is social media or any other platform they use it very very effectively,” he added. Speaking about the modern mode to speed up terrorism globally, the former army chief said: “Recruitment is one thing which is done on that (social media) and I think the financier, abettors, facilitator and the sympathisers all of them are involved in this.”

While agreeing with the panelists how dangerous the terrorism is in the digital age, Gen Raheel said, “It’s not only a cancer, it’s a deadly cancer.” Gen Raheel said that complex border issues were a hurdle in defeating Taliban. He said there were groups which were present in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Gen Raheel said when action against these groups is taken in Afghanistan, they come to Pakistan and when action against them is taken in Pakistan they move to Afghanistan. He said the presence of Afghan refugees in Pakistan was also an issue in defeating terrorism. He said the terror attacks in Pakistan were cut down from 150 per month to one. He said that all countries would have to share intelligence report with each other in order to defeat terrorism. The former COAS further said that after the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar, the entire nation united against the terrorists.

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