00e0000 .Code of Ethics -Shifting battlefields By- Yasmin Gill
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plus Discount Code 'yashi.gillo1' 10% ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE Complete Course on Ethics, EE integrity& Aptitude Lesson 27 Today, 6:00 PM Yasmin Gill
.SOCIAL MEDIA AND CODE OF ETHICS Ever since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, new media platforms have becorme political battlegrounds These spaces of electioneering have, however, remained unregu lated because the Representation of People Act (RPA), 1951 doe not cover social media EC and Internet and Mobile Association of India the body th at represents social media firms took a decisive step towards plugging this gap Code of Ethics, which social media outfits will follow during the Lok Sabha elections The Code emphasises transparency and stresses on measures t o "prevent abuse of social media platforms". However, as Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora put it, "th e document should be seen as a work in progress" Since adherence to the Code is voluntary, much will depend on the measures taken by individual social media outfits to put the document's guidelines into practice.
Section 126 of the RPA prohibits political parties and candidate s from campaigning in the two days before voting In January, an EC panel suggested bringing social media platfor ms under the Act's ambit so that voters are "afforded a period o f reflection" The panel suggested that these new media platforms should a bide by the EC's guidelines about taking down "objectionable c ontent" Social media outfits, however, did not agree with the recomme ndation that such content "be taken down within three hours of a notice" .It's reassuring that the Code, addresses the EC's concerns Valid legal orders will be acknowledged and/ or processed with in three hours for violations reported under Section 126 Also welcome is the Code's insistence on "transparency in paid political advertisements". Any political advertisement posted wit hout the EC's certification and notified as such by the EC will be acted upon expeditiously, the Code says.
The Code asks social media firms to train the EC's nodal officer on now tnelr platiormis Work and on mechanisms Tor sending requests on dealing with offensive material These companies will also develop a "reporting mechanism" thr ough which the poll watchdog can inform the platforms about" potential violations of Section 126" Code's success will depend, in large measure, on how these cha nnels of communication work In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, the conduct of the so cial media firmsand the ECwill be watched.
The shifting batdefields The ongoing crisis in South Asia is a critical reminder about the alarming ability of Pakistan-supported non-state actors to ignite a conflict between the two nuclear armed adversaries The risk of conflict escalation is perhaps one of the most under appreciated threats to international peace and security. sporadic incidents keep the security environment volatile However, it would be worthwhile to step back and try to under stand the strategic calculus, if any, behind the Pulwama attacks What strategic or political benefit would Pakistan's ISI accrue fr om such an attack, knowing well that such acts can potentially r esult in a formidable armed reprisal by India, further increasing Pakistan's international isolation? Pakistan, with its fragile economic situation, can hardly afford a full-scale conflict under present circumstances.
Any attack by groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Tai ba on Indian soil is, unsurprisingly, understood by the Indian go vernment to have been authorised by the Pakistan spy agency The ISI must appreciate that in any such conflict, the majority o f the world opinion would lean favourably towards the country t hat has borne the brunt of terrorism So, why would the ISI risk a confrontation with India? The answer may lie in a well-thought out and tested strategic calculus: A risk/risk trade off assessment by the ISI in the event of possible US withdrawal from Afghanistarn US withdrawal and the end of the Taliban-led war against US fo rces in Afghanistan may, on the one hand, come as a big shoti n the arm for Pakistan's status as a primary player in Afghanista But, at the same time, it has the potential to rekindle jihadist vi olence in Pakistan, reminiscent of the late 2000s. The return of t s of Pakistani jihadists from Afghanistan poses a dispro ortionate challenge to Pakistan's internal security scenario.
Hence, the timing of the Pulwama attack may underscore a larg er strategic gameplan by the ISI to preempt the danger of terror ist violence returning to Pakistan The withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan will potentiall y rob Pakistani jihadist groups of the raison d'etre of fighting jih ad in Afghanistan The Taliban has also promised not to host any foreign terrorist group as a part of the impending deal There is a real possibility, which the Pakistan's security establislh ment fully appreciates, that these returning jihadists may re-igni te violence not only in Pakistan's tribal areas but also in the urb an centres Thus, shifting the theatre of violence away from Pakistan and b ack into Kashmir may not be considered an imprudent risk trad e-off. The ISI has employed a similar strategy with a fair bit of s uccess in the past, too.
Immediately after the end of the war against the Soviets in Afg hanistan, thousands of returning Pakistani fighters posed a formi dable challenge to the country's internal security environmemt Pakistan, however, had already worked out a plan to prevent th ese murderous groups from returning. The ISI was successfully a ble to channelise their jihadist impulses by diverting them to a new battlefield in Kashmir Similarly, in the mid-2000s, after General Pervez Musharraf join ed the US-led global war on terror, the domestic jihadist groups were incensed by what they regarded as Pakistan's betrayal of it s jihadi brethren The insurgency in Pakistan's tribal and urban areas took a heav y toll, both in terms of civilian and military casualties. .It was under these circumstances that the ISI started planning a spectacular strike at multiple targets in Mumbai in an attempt t o shift the focus of violence away from its own territory SI may have sought a perverse sort of credibility from the Mu mbai assault to prove to its own restive clients that it was not g oing soft
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