‘How much did they pay you to defame Imran Khan and PTI?’

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It seems The Express Tribune has done it again (see image above). Working on our Goebbels’ vendetta against all things Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, we have now attacked PTI Chairman Imran Khan while he’s down (literally).

The PTI Chairman injured his back just days before the elections.

Can it get any more evil than asking our cartoonist Sabir Nazar to target an injured man, when all he wants to do is go see his children in the UK during the few weeks they get off from school? Who cares if there is wall-chalking up in NA-56 demanding to know where the man they elected is?

This is blasphemy! Sacrilege!

Let’s leave aside the fact that Sabir Nazar is not dictated to, or controlled editorially in what he draws (freedom of speech and all that).

Let’s also leave aside the fact that The Express Tribune is not a single entity, but a collection of many individuals, a large number of whom are pro-PTI (the web desk alone has two thirds staff who voted for PTI. The person editing this piece voted for PTI!).

Let’s not assume that the reason ET focuses so much on the PTI and Imran Khan is because a lot of staffers are interested and invested in how this party develops.

No, let’s focus on reporting the cartoon share on Facebook over 50 times in an attempt to beat ET into submission, or hopefully, have their page shutdown. No kidding, this is actually happening as I’m typing this.

I guess such a childish reaction can be expected from the PTI. We’ve seen such online attacks by the PTI horde before in the form of mass emails clogging up our inboxes. I think there has been enough written about the negative impact of this already. I also think the PTI has made enough attempts to curb this ugly trend online, with little to no success.

It’s time we all accept that this party has at its periphery, a fascist, thug mentality when it comes to the online space.

It’s shameful. We can only hope it doesn’t translate into real-life, though there are already signs of this happening.

I leave the PTI trolls with some more delightful cartoons by Sabir Nazar to rage over!

PS: to answer the question in the headline — I get paid nothing to write blog posts (unless it enters the top five of the week, in which case I get paid Rs1,000). I get a little more for opeds, but you get the picture — anyone who thinks writing pays fantastically with bags full of money being regularly exchanged between political parties and media folk really needs a reality check.

Published in Tribune Blogs.

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