The initiative ‘Digital Pakistan’ is a positive step but in wrong hands. Beguiling and manipulating our digital future.
By Salman Mahmood
In 2019 a great initiative, namely ‘Digital Pakistan‘ was undertaken by the Imran government. It definitely was a step in the right direction so far as to enable our citizenry and our state.
Digitization provides our government with some undeniable opportunities. By digitizing its framework, government can become considerably more responsive and efficient when providing service to its citizens. Citizens too in turn can be empowered by digital services that broaden their engagement with different branches of government.
However, it is impossible to ignore the dangerous realities brought upon by an ever-increasing digitized world, especially if in the policy making and implementation is influenced by vested interests of an amalgamation of state and non-sate actors!
It is high time that we as a nation and especially the government, whose duty it is to protect and preserve the state as a whole to wrestle away ‘Digital Pakistan’ from the influences of ‘BLOCK-B’, the sugar / aata mafia policy makers and there international collaborators who report answer to clandestine agencies across the globe.
Placing the ‘Digital Pakistan’ into the hands of the wrong people, people who have neither the intellectual depth nor the relevant credible policy making / implementation credentials.
This dangerous nexus between these state and non-state actors intends to control our public and private data, profit from our information by selling to the highest bidder.
Information which can render our state venerable to our ‘enemies’ / ‘unfriendly forces’ to say the least! Our state secrets, our networks, private data, government policies will be in the hands of people who will then have the power to cause our state irreparable harm. Nothing will be left ‘private’ or ‘confidential’ – let this sink in ….. NOTHING!!!
If we were worried about Pakistan being exposed to the 5th generation warfare (Maj. General Asif Ghafoor’s various tweets and pressers are testament to it). This is the real threat of war – the sixth generation warfare will be data and the misuse of that data!
Due to flawed polices which were manipulated and invented during previous regimes, Pakistan has suffered the wrath of international watch dogs like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Imagine if our detractors have a silent window into our digital vault – the repercussions for us will be catastrophic to say the least.
The result (if this policy or should I say ‘Ghost Protocol’ is implemented), our states information – no matter how trivial or highly confidential/ sensitive will be shared and stored elsewhere – Internationally; exposing critical our data / information to the highest bidder and worst case scenario to ‘the enemy of our state’.
The time is now to decide whether we will let pre-selected puppets, who have been programmed by the vested interest to make policies of digitizing Pakistan taking our state into further chaos or will we act to secure and get back our future before its too late.
If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our adversaries; both external and internal, may prove to be our executioners.
Written by: Salman Mahmood, who blogs at Policy Advisors, which organizes its work in cross-program research areas: Non-proliferation, Artificial Intelligence, Technology and Trade, Resources and Payment Gateway, International Order and Conflict, South East Asia, and Global Foreign Policy.