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DG ISPR Praises ‘Voluntary Passion’ Of Fifth Generation Warriors

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Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor has praised the ‘voluntary passion’ of fifth generation warriors and has asked them to stay responsible on social media.

In a tweet posted from his account, Major General Asif Ghafoor said that the enemies of Pakistan claimed to be winning the fifth-generation war. He added, in a comment directed to the people fighting for Pakistan in the war, “A selfless voluntary passion for Pakistan as yours can never be defeated, let alone by ‘them’.”

The concept of ‘fifth generation war’ was popularised in Pakistan by Major General Asif Ghafoor. Though he has never given a clear definition of the fifth-generation war he often talks about, what can be gauged from his statements is that it means the use of media, both digital and conventional, to shape discourse on national matters.

Asif Ghafoor’s statements come in light of the banning of the Twitter account of Dr Farhan Virk, who is a known supporter of the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and is frequently at the forefront of hashtags on micro-blogging website, Twitter, in support of PTI and state institutions. Virk is known for running fake accounts of famous personalities; for a long time he ran an account of Pakistan’s nuclear scientist, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan.

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Earlier this week, Virk’s account had been permanently blocked on Twitter, resulting in protest from certain sections on Twitter. Trends expressing disapproval of Twitter’s move were witnessed.

Following the blocking of Virk’s account, the DG ISPR also took to Twitter to state that Pakistani users were facing problems on Twitter. In an apparent reference to Dr Virk’s account, he said that accounts were being suspended on one pretext or the other.

The suspension of Farhan Virk’s account comes amid a report in Dawn by Ramsha Jahangir, which revealed how there exist groups of social media users who start a trend on Twitter, and have them amplified by having their supporter groups tweet about them, the result being that the trend reaches the top trends in no time. Interestingly, Farhan Virk had been interviewed for the report and he himself explained the modus operandi of a team of ‘social media influencers’ that he ran.

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