Monday December 05, 2022

Social media campaign against army could backfire on PTI

Defence sources say that they have all the evidence on how these smear campaigns against the army and its chief have been run

April 27, 2022
Imran Khan. Photo: The News/file
Imran Khan. Photo: The News/file

ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan and his PTI are pursuing a policy of pressurising the military establishment to intervene and hold early elections. However, signs are that the defence forces are determined to remain apolitical on this issue.

The tactics being used by a sizeable number of Tehreek-e-Insaf social media followers -- recently dubbed by Imran Khan as his “social media warriors” —may, however, backfire mainly because of the malicious campaign launched against the army and its chief.

The country’s military establishment is clearly unhappy over these social media campaigns. Defence sources say that they have all the evidence on how these smear campaigns against the army and its chief have been run. Details are expected to be made public ‘at the right time’.

A senior PTI leader, while talking to The News, insisted that the PTI leadership has nothing to do with such campaigns, but he admitted that the party wants to bring pressure on the establishment to pave the way for early elections. Contrary to what the PTI leaders say, the military establishment claims to have concrete evidence showing otherwise.

In his speech at the Lahore rally last week, the PTI Chairman Imran Khan, without naming the establishment, had said that ‘whoever made the mistake’ of ousting him can rectify their mistake by holding early elections. Observers say that Imran Khan was sending out a clear message to the establishment.

When approached, defence sources said that the military establishment will maintain its apolitical stance and will in no manner pressurize anyone to hold early elections. These sources said that all such issues need to be discussed and decided by the politicians among themselves.

The PTI is planning a march on Islamabad, to be followed by a 2014-like sit-in to press its demand for immediate elections. The 2014 sit-in was believed to have the support of the military establishment but even then, it could weaken but not oust the Nawaz Sharif government.

It is yet to be seen whether PTI’s recently announced sit-in will be able to influence the Shehbaz Sharif government to hold early elections—especially at a time when the PTI’s social media ‘warriors’ have already annoyed the establishment because of their anti-army campaigns.

According to some PTI leaders, this situation is worrisome for them as well, and there is a realization and debate within the party that targeting the army and its chief will not do any good to the Tehreek-e-Insaf. For this reason, PTI sources said that some party leaders have recently spoken out in favour of the Army and its importance to Pakistan.

These sources said that Imran Khan has not only said it in public but also privately argued that the Army is more important for Pakistan than even himself. He said that without the Army, Pakistan could not survive.

It is, however, pointed out by some political observers that neither Imran Khan nor any of the party’s top leadership has condemned the PTI’s social media team and party supporters for waging the smear campaign against the army and its chief.


    Farooq commented 7 months ago

    It is good strategy, those who used it in past are now in govt. It works.

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      Josh commented 7 months ago

      They were asking them to do what the constitution wants them to do, here though PTI wants them to do something illegal... so cheap.

      Mohammad Baig commented 7 months ago


      Mohammad Baig commented 7 months ago


    fraz commented 7 months ago

    it's strange, they don't see what they have done and are busy pointing fingers. They did everything for their personal gains and now hide behind the wall of whole institutions.

    12 4

    Umer Alam commented 7 months ago

    Again from sources, duh... This campaign is organic and even retired military persons are part of it, showing their concerns over military leadership. Better to wake up than to deceive urself

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    Irfan commented 7 months ago

    I wonder, they do bad and we cannot even speak about that, please before social media protect us from suiciders

    7 4

      Tariq commented 7 months ago

      Army is inevitable for us

    Qaisar Miana commented 7 months ago

    Not sure why it is termed as a PTI campaign, i know many who are not PTI members but are pissed at establishment for interfering in destabilizing the government.

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    Sheharyar Sohail commented 7 months ago

    The dissent is organic and no amount of threats can undo the anger and disappointment among the public. Defence institutions trespassed their constitutional mandate.

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    Fahad commented 7 months ago

    Better they should wake up. Public has started hating them for not protecting country against American threat. They must know this is an organic campaign. They should not be blind. We clearly knows they served American purpose as they asked in letter.

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    Ash commented 7 months ago

    ‎‫#امپورٹڈ_حکومت_نامنظور Trust me it works our Army dealt efficiently with notorious corrupt Politicians who were maligning them internationally by shaking hands and saluting them.We use to Love Army but respect is something that should be ‪earned.You‬ can’t shut nation voice by threatening

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    Ahsan commented 7 months ago

    The campaign is totally organic and I hope their agencies must know the ground realities as well that how much devastating loss has been done to a whole institution by just few men in uniforms. This narrative is not from uneducated slums but educated middle class who is running the state.

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    Muhammad Shafi commented 7 months ago

    If Pak fauj has evidence even still people won't accept it as they are a bunch of liars.

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    Mateen commented 7 months ago

    It is good forces are with democracy

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