Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf lead by the ex-cricketer Imran Khan emerged, for the first time as a popular party in October 2011 with a successful show of force at Minar e Pakistan, Lahore. Khan sahib for long has been taken as a symbol of change since he so vigorously talks of unorthodox politics. Anyways my purpose is not to discuss the merits of Khan sahib or his party, I am rather going to focus on his ‘trolls’; his young, childish, abusive followers and how they are trying to benefit him and his party but are succeeding in causing only detriment. My basic grievance and cause of anger at these kids is two-fold.
- Indecent conduct on social media.
On several occasions have I come across harsh, indecent, foul and obnoxious remarks by PTI followers for anyone and everyone who dares disagree with Khan sahib even on the pettiest of issues. If anyone tweets about Khan sahib in a critical tone it starts a rain of irritating and abusive tweets from all over the place. The most common targets are TV anchors who dare criticize the antics of Khan sahib’s party.
The decision taken by Marvi Memon to ditch PTI and join PMLN brought a wrath of character assassination and verbal abuse from these self-proclaimed judges of morality. Overnight this ‘down to earth’, ‘human rights enthusiast’, ‘youth representative’ became a ‘selfish traitor’ and a ‘wicked witch’. It was as if Marvi’s salvation relied on her decision to stay with or leave PTI.
Then the most recent and absurd behavior that basically triggered the writing of this piece is the abuse extended to Ms. Asma Jehangir; a human rights activist. It is impossible for any popular figure to remain clear of a controversy and there are always two opinions regarding their person; those of their supporters and their critics. The mere rejection of Ms. Jehangir as care taker Prime Minister by Khan sahib, which is his political right, has made the followers believe that Ms. Jehangir is an enemy of PTI. “Khan no like Asma..Asma not good..Asma baaadd” seems to run in their so called brains and filth starts to spill out. This is unbecoming and uncalled for. There is a limit to everything and I am sure anyone who has ever been abused by PTI followers would stand by this demand to Khan sahib that he talk to and reign in his followers and ask them to not ruin his and his party’s image.
2. Fake Photos and False reports.
The most recent of obviously false reports and fake news items posted on social media websites is the picture about Member National Assembly’s salaries. The stats given in the said picture are far from the truth, exaggerated and misstated.
The actual numbers are;
a) Salary Rs. 23,803/- p.m.
b) Ad-hoc Allowance, 2010 Rs. 11,903/- p.m.
c) Office Maintenance Allowance Rs. 8,000/- p.m.
d) Telephone Allowance Rs. 10,000/- p.m
e) Sumptuary Allowance Rs. 5,000/- p.m.
f) Ad-hoc Relief Allowance, 2009 Rs. 3,571/- p.m.
Total: Rs. 62,280/- p.m
ii) TA/DA for attending session/committee meetings:
a) Daily Allowance Rs. 1000/- p.d.
b) Conveyance Allowance Rs. 750/- p.d.
c) Housing Allowance Rs. 2000/- p.d.
Total: Rs. 3750/- p.d.
(3 days before and 3 days after in case of Session)
(2 days before and 2 days after in case of meeting
Now why does a party working for change stick to the age old trick of false propaganda? Why do these ‘educated’ and ‘enlightened’ youth resort to lies?
How all this damages PTI? PTI has so far been unable to penetrate the rural vote bank of uneducated simpletons effectively, owing to factors of ‘baradirism’ and ‘dharra bandian’. It mainly seeks to dominate the educated voters in cities but the above mentioned behavior on part of a certain class of PTI supporters is causing those circles to seriously rethink their support for PTI. They have already had to ditch their hopes for the popular slogans of ‘new faces’ and ‘politics of no compromise’, such behavior might as well prove to be the last nail.