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The Invisible War

The false narratives of former corrupt rulers are being given widespread circulation
on the electronic and social media by antagonist forces to spoil the image of Pakistan.

By Brig. (r) Saleem Qamar Butt | December 2020


Noam Chomsky said, “Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.” A blitz has been unleashed against the political and military leadership and the armed forces of Pakistan are being targeted to undermine the national morale and create uncertainty and despondency in the country. This all is being done with one obvious purpose i.e. to get relief for under-the-hammer corrupt political elite, who are wilfully and quite wittingly blurting out propaganda themes, which had been launched by some hostile countries, unsuccessfully though. The false narratives of the enemies of Pakistan currently spoken by former allegedly corrupt rulers are being given widespread circulation on the electronic and social media by India and other antagonist forces spoiling the image of Pakistan, besides undermining national security interests both at home and abroad.

It is a very sorry state indeed that cannot be allowed to continue. All political, legal and counter -psychological warfare measures should be on priority. It is also imperative that people of Pakistan are made aware about the invisible war called psychological warfare (PSYWAR), which has also been known by many other names or terms, including ‘political warfare’, ‘hearts and minds’, and ‘propaganda’. Such awareness is important so that every Pakistani is obligated to fight out this menace individually as well as collectively in sync with the government of Pakistan’s efforts.

Psychological warfare is the planned use of propaganda, threats, and other non-combative techniques during wars, or periods of geopolitical unrest. Various techniques are used and are aimed at influencing a target audience’s value system, belief system, emotions, motives, reasoning or behaviour. It is used to induce confessions or reinforce attitudes and behaviours favourable to the originator’s objectives and is sometimes combined with black operations or false flag tactics. It is also used to destroy the morale of enemies through tactics that aim to depress the troops’ psychological states. The target audience can be governments, politicians, national institutions, organizations, groups and individuals; and is not just limited to soldiers. Psychological warfare, mainly played through propaganda, drains the public opinion of an opposing regime by stripping away its power on public opinion. This form of aggression is hard to defend because no international court of justice is capable of protecting against psychological aggression since it cannot be legally adjudicated.

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The writer is a retired army officer with proficiency in military intelligence, diplomacy, strategic analyses, forecast and executive management. His special areas of interest include international relations, defence and warfare studies. He can be reached at

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One thought on “The Invisible War

  • December 5, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    Excellent grasp on the subject and very well rounded up!
    Saleem Qamar Butt is a very well-read analyst who knows how to lure in the reader!! Excellently and suitably worded too!!