Imran Khan’s youth squad

A lost generation

PTI chief Imran Khan’s social media teams were given free hand to spread intolerance and hatred for a number of years. Among the targets were PTI’s political opponents, independent media houses and media persons. The campaign to spread intolerance reached new heights during the years when the PTI was on the same page with the establishment. Over time tens of thousands of youth were brainwashed and hundreds turned into active ‘Insafias’.

The unfortunate comments on Lasbela helicopter crash have led the ISPR to condemn the “highly unacceptable and regretful social media campaign” causing “deep anguish and distress among the families of martyrs and rank and file of the armed forces”. The FIA has been tasked with locating, arresting and taking legal action against those involved in running the negative social media campaign.  But can legal action against a few change the mindset of tens of thousands?

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Mr Khan’s word is gospel truth for the PTI youngsters with mobile phones. If what he says goes against facts, there must be something wrong with the ‘so-called facts’, the youngsters firmly believe.

Most of the PTI youth have little knowledge of the country’s history, politics or economy. Mr Khan has inflated their egos by stressing that the possession of a smartphone is enough to enable them to understand what is going on in the country or the world at large. All they need is to switch it on to receive guidelines directly from Mr Khan or the party’s social media teams. All the youngsters know about politics is that those who disagree with PTI are enemies. PPP leader Asif Zardari is the biggest “bimari” (illness), Prime Minster Shehbaz Sharif is a shoe polish named Cherry Blossom, and JUI(F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman is Diesel. Those who pose as ‘neutrals’ are accused of having conspired with the USA to overthrow Mr Khan’s government.

The PTI is not doing politics, the youth are told. It is in fact fighting a jihad against Yazidiat . Everyone among the PTI’s youth is a soldier who must wield his smartphone as a weapon in the battle. The latest guideline coming from Mr Khan says Pakistan is facing fascism today in the form of rule by a “cabal of crooks and their handlers” brought to power through the US regime change conspiracy. What is needed is for the state to launch an all-out campaign to inculcate tolerance in society. The use of religion for political gains should be discouraged. The policy to promote favourites should be abandoned.

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]


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