Pakiatan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s relationship with the establishment has gone from bad to worse, particularly during the recent days and the party leadership knows about it.
Some top leaders of the PTI, who are still in rare contact with the establishment, received some angry calls following the party’s social media ran some extremely obnoxious campaign regarding the army’s helicopter crash in which six soldiers, including corps commander Quetta, were martyred.
According to a PTI source, some of the PTI followers tweets, which were full of hatred, were also shared with the PTI leader, who reportedly conveyed the same to the top party leadership. It made the PTI leadership to directing the party’s official twitter handle to tweet, “These accounts have got nothing to do with PTI official team, we have zero tolerance about accounts that spew hatred. Zero tolerance on national tragedies being used to create divisions. Such accounts will be blocked by PTI official.”
Yet some of those appear to be the PTI followers continuing their anti-army tweets. While there was no role of the party leadership seen in this dirty campaign it is pointed out that such hatred has been infused by the PTI leadership to its followers that they have lost balance and stopped thinking rationally. It is also said that there has also been no condemnation of such social media campaigns from the PTI leadership, most of which is really active on twitter and other social media platforms.
Senior Geo anchor Salim Safi disclosed on Thursday and The News sources also confirmed that like most of the Pakistanis the defence officers and their families were really hurt with the PTI follower’s campaign and for the same reason, President Arif Alvi was politely advised not to attend the funeral of the martyrs in Rawalpindi the day before yesterday. The President was keen but there were fears of possible reaction of the martyr’s relatives for what the PTI social media did.
However, it was good on part of the PTI Chairman Imran Khan to visit the family of Shaheed Lt Gen Sarfaraz Ali on Friday and offer condolences. Imran Khan is hardly seen attending funerals or visiting bereaved families for condolences even over the death of his closest friends.
To his bad luck, in another incident, Imran Khan’s statement that the neutrals had given him the name of the incumbent Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja is taken up by the leading ruling parties - PMLN and PPP - both of whom are daring Imran Khan to name the neutrals, who gave him the name of the CEC.
On Friday PPP Sindh Minister Saeed Ghani and PMLN Punjab leader Malik Ahmad Khan held their press conferences in Karachi and Lahore respectively. Both asked Imran Khan if he had the courage, name the neutral.
Interestingly, an informed PTI source said that although Imran Khan’s reference to neutrals in this case caused suspicion that perhaps it was the Army Chief who would have given him the name of Sikandar Sultan Raja but it was not the case. The source said that Sikandar Sultan’s name was suggested by someone else and this fact also appears to be in the knowledge of the PMLN and the PPP and for the same reason they are daring Imran Khan to name the neutral.
While the relationship between the PTI and the establishment was already deteriorating, Dr Shireen Mazari tweeted on recent US drone attack in Afghanistan as: “Puzzling question: a US drone flew into Afghanistan from direction of Gulf region- assuming Pakistan hasn’t given bases yet (unless this govt has done so covertly)- but flew over which country’s airspace? Iran does not give any airspace rights to US mly so was Pak airspace used?” She added, “Is that why PM IK had to be removed after his Absutely Not to US demand? I always date US regime change conspiracy from June 2021. Enough evidence.”
Her June 2021 reference was clear who she was targeting in the tweet. Interestingly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday categorically rejected reports that Pakistan’s airspace had been used by a US drone strike in Kabul killing al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. US media reported that the drone flew from Kyrgyzstan.
However, many PTI social media followers were keen to follow the suspicion of the likes of Dr Mazari and continued alleging Pakistan being partner to the US drone attack and linked it with Army Chief’s recent interactions with Washington. Interestingly they are referring to the massive improvement of Pak rupee exchange rate against US dollar as quid pro quo for Pakistan.