Speakers at a seminar on Thursday cautioned especially the youth and women to stay aware and steadfast against the propaganda onslaught launched by the enemy through a ‘soft offence’ by using internet and the cyber space. The two-day conference titled ‘role of youth and women in peace building, cyber security and safe internet’ was organized by the University of Peshawar in collaboration with International Islamic University School and College Peshawar.
At least 400 students and faculty members attended the workshop. Highlighting risks of misuse of cyberspace, the speakers cautioned the young students about terrorist groups increasingly using the technology for recruitment and radicalisation of the youth. They sensitized the participants about potential threats of promotion of liberal ideologies, drugs business, violence and sexual harassment on the internet.
The speakers said cyber security is a complex issue, which requires in-depth analysis from various perspectives to formulate the counter strategies. They said subversion on religious, sectarian, ethnic and social issues through a soft offensive by using internet and the cyberspace needs a comprehensive counter strategy to ensure that people do not fall prey to the agenda of the adversaries.
The speakers said a fifth generation hybrid war has been imposed on the country which is affecting the minds of the youth, adding that efforts are being made to divide the nation through different means by creating confusion and chaos. They called upon the youth to take it upon themselves to respond to the enemy’s propaganda on all fronts, whether it is on social, digital or conventional media, adding that unity was imperative to foil all sorts of propaganda against Pakistan.
The speakers highlighted the role the academic institutions can play in sharing good practices in order to promote safe surfing guidelines. They suggested that a nationwide campaign can be launched in schools and colleges to make youth aware of the potential risks of the internet, adding that digital literacy should be made an essential part of the curriculum.
On the occasion, Minahil Riaz Toor from the National University of Science and Technology threw light on role of women in establishment of a peaceful and inclusive society.