Pak using social platform to harm India: US terror expert



Noted American expert on terror and internal security Peter Chalk on Wednesday warned of use of social platforms by Pakistan to attack Indian economy. He blamed his country for playing double role on Islamabad.

He said Pakistan could be harnessing the power of the social media to launch attacks on the Indian economy, even as he warned that the ISI "may well leverage encrypted social media sites, secure telecommunication platforms and online mapping technology to covertly facilitate jihadist recruitment drives or directly support terrorist strikes" in Kashmir.

The best offensive mechanism to deal with Pakistan, he said, was to work with friendly and partner countries to put pressure on Islamabad, and also to convince these nations that they could also not escape the wrath of terror outfits operating from Pakistan soil.

Delivering the second K.P.S. Gill Memorial Lecture in Mohali near here, he warned the US was playing a double role with Pakistan because of its strategic interest in Afghanistan, the reason why it wasn't taking a tougher stand against Islamabad.

In the context of the growing use of drones and lone wolves to launch attacks, the American expert called for compulsory registration of such technology and legislations to counter the threat.

To ensure credibility in such counter-attacks, it was important to involve NGOs, human rights organisations and the community at large, he said in response to a question that 100 per cent radicalization could not take place online and human contact was a part of the process.

Admitting that such groups become easy targets of extremists, Chalk said they do not easily succumb to terrorist threats.

In an apparent reference to Referendum 2020, he said an intensive social media effort aimed at radicalising young Sikhs was currently being waged by pro-Khalistani militants based in Pakistan and diaspora groups operating out of the US, Britain and Canada.

"There are growing indications that the ISI is orchestrating much of this activity as part of a wider campaign to co-join instability in Punjab with unrest in Kashmir," he warned.

In his keynote address, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh pointed out that in the globalised world, terror could easily straddle international geographical boundaries, with the use of internet and social media further contributing to promoting terror and terror ideology for luring youth, spreading hatred and propaganda.

Pointing to the sensitive location of Punjab as a border state with a hostile neighbour and the growing challenge of narco terrorism with linkages in Jammu and Kashmir, Amarinder Singh stressed on the need for modern-day policing to thus remain technologically updated and professional in its approach.

"We cannot ever allow the state to relive those horrible days it went through as we all know what is happening again now," said the Chief Minister.

The Punjab Police launched the annual lecture series last year in commemoration of the memory of the late K.P.S. Gill, former Director General of Police, who led the police bravely into its comprehensive victory over state-sponsored terrorism.IANS