Imran Khan, Imranists and the use of social media

Intolerance has been inculcated

Imran Khan has introduced many bad trends among his followers. The first is their intolerance. The ability to appreciate another person’s thoughts and perspectives, even when they differ from our own, is what it means to be tolerant. A tolerant individual patiently hears other people’s viewpoints and makes an effort to comprehend them. They simultaneously communicate their thoughts or viewpoints without arguing. Accepting everyone’s viewpoints without stirring any controversy is what tolerance entails.

On the other side, intolerant people frequently lose their temper over competing topics, upsetting the tranquility of the community. They produce undesirable results and make the issue worse. These individuals also lack values in their relationships and frequently argue over unimportant issues.

On the other hand, someone who is tolerant seeks to comprehend other people’s perspectives and respects their feelings and beliefs. Such persons work to settle disputes by respecting the viewpoints of all parties concerned, resulting in fruitful outcomes and encouraging wholesome relationships.

The importance of tolerance cannot be overstated, particularly in a multicultural nation like Pakistan where it is essential for fostering harmony and peace. In spite of the disparities in our lifestyles, traditions, and backgrounds, it is important to accept and tolerate the people from other religions, castes, genders, political views, and so on, that we face on a daily basis. A tolerant and peaceful society is the result of this kind of understanding and respect among people. Pakistan has a long history of tolerance, and it is crucial to keep this quality in order to preserve our society’s ability to live in harmony.

Imranists, (The PTI Followers which are also called Youthias) don’t hear others’ points of views and never accept logical arguments. They can’t listen to critics. Two of my very close family members who are very strict Imranists (and I respect their choice) blocked me on their social media just because they can’t read or hear anything against Imran Khan. A couple of my relatives said to me that “Don’t do the sin to put false allegations against Imran Khan.”

They further said that you will have to answer to God one day and what will you say to the Lord about these crimes which you are putting on Imran Khan. They even can’t hear a single word against him.

It takes practice for a tolerant personality to emerge. One can start by politely hearing what others have to say and appreciating their feelings. Prioritize allowing people their space and respecting their decisions. It’s important to keep in mind that fighting won’t get our problems solved and will simply damage relationships. Thus, it is important to promote the development of a tolerant mindset and an understanding of its importance in everyday life.

In terms of morality, tolerance pertains to justice, fairness, and respect as well as refraining from hurting other people. As long as they are moral, it enables people to accept opposing assertions, beliefs, values, and ideas. Tolerance gives rise to the moral duty to appreciate people for who they are. Early civil libertarians asserted that tolerance is a moral obligation and that those who practice it cherish each person’s autonomy and freedom of choice.

After malicious incidents and riotous attacks on May 9, the mindset of the majority of PTI leaders and Imranists is changing which is a good sign. Most of them have left their extremist thoughts and ideology and are coming back to the mainstream. The need is to understand the fact that we should prefer our country above all and should never ever allow anyone to stand against the country and our defenders.

Psychologists believe that empathy is a key motivator of moral behavior. Some contend that it inspires unselfish and altruistic actions. Empathic people can put themselves in another person’s shoes and are sensitive to their sentiments. Tolerance is fundamentally based on this trait. People of all ages exhibit a strong feeling of fairness and empathy towards others who are different from them in terms of ethnicity, religion, or culture, according to research. Such people exhibit tolerance based on empathy and fairness by rejecting bias 70 to 80 percent of the time. Hence, encouraging empathy is essential to advancing tolerance. Imranists totally lag behind in all of these characteristics.

Never in my life have I seen such blatant violations of democratic and constitutional norms as are being aggressively defended by apparently educated individuals. After the ouster of Imran, I have seen videos of PTI supporters burning passports, comparing Imran to Imam Hussain, and even videos where his supporters are comparing Imran to Prophets. Likewise, a huge majority of his supporters are apparently willing to believe the highly unfathomable theory that his ouster was some grand conspiracy by the USA.

It seems that the PTI is not a party but a fascist cult which is now slowly morphing into a political religion. Imran is not merely a political leader but a demigod who has to be vigorously defended, unconditionally followed, and venerated to insane levels. For Imranists Imran Khan is a State, its ruler and everything. They are not ready to hear anything against him. For them Imran Khan is a red line whereas for me and the majority of Pakistanis, our religion, our country and our armed forces are red lines. We can’t accept that anyone would still be loyal to Pakistan who crosses these red lines.

Imran Khan and his party have been allegedly using social media to create a specific mindset. While social media has made access to information easier, it also has negative effects. Expressing one’s views, belonging to any political or religious party is everyone’s right, no one can deny it. In today’s politics, social media has a great role in the mindset of the people. But here the question arises that the expression of political views or affiliation through social media is real or fake? Are Political Trends Public or Paid?

According to information received from a very reliable source, an estimated 4.65 million people use Twitter in Pakistan. But Pakistan has the highest number of fake Twitter accounts in the world which are used by political parties to spread their narrative. This is the reason that the fame balloon of Imran Niazi and his party in Pakistan was built on these fake social media accounts. Running paid trends and then spreading these trends through fake accounts was the method of the PTI. With these fake trends, the people of Pakistan were brainwashed and by running social media campaigns through a few hundred fake accounts, they tried to give a false impression that 220 million people think that Imran Niazi is the Messiah, Imran Niazi is the leader of Muslim Ummah, Imran Niazi is the saviour and if there is Imran, there will be Pakistan.

Repeatedly spreading lies and spreading hate narratives through fake accounts led to tragic events like May 9 but now neither the people are stupid nor the youth of this country are unconscious. They have come to know that it was all a game of money and getting power. With the tax money that was supposed to be used for the welfare of the people, the narrative against the state institutions was continued through the social media team. People have also learned that those who were supposed to work for public welfare first spread hatred and when they failed miserably, now they are in the cycle of spreading despair.

It is sometimes said that Pakistan has defaulted, if there is no Imran, there will be no Pakistan, we are not free, we will be destroyed and except Imran all others are thieves etc. Countless such fabricated stories are spread by Paid YouTubers and Adil Raja, Haider Mehdi, Sabir Shakir, Moeed Pirzada and other social media activists whose job is just to spread lies and disappointment day and night.

The truth is that difficult times come and pass on nations, but history never forgives those who spread despair, so we request those who cry for democracy and freedom of speech to be wise and have mercy on this nation. Do not lie to the nation and do not spread despair for the sake of satisfying your personal ego. This nation gave you a chance but you were not able to deliver anything. You have not given anything to this nation except false traditions and fairy tales.

After malicious incidents and riotous attacks on May 9, the mindset of the majority of PTI leaders and Imranists is changing which is a good sign. Most of them have left their extremist thoughts and ideology and are coming back to the mainstream. The need is to understand the fact that we should prefer our country above all and should never ever allow anyone to stand against the country and our defenders.

Abdul Basit Alvi
Abdul Basit Alvi
The writer is a freelance columnist


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