Pakistan

LAHORE – Twitter has evolved from a critical communications channel to a tool of political war in Pakistan, where politicians are launching verbal attacks against each other to come clean in the public interest.

The chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Imran Khan on Tuesday dealt an online blow to Shehbaz Sharif accusing the chief minister of Punjab of receiving kickbacks in development projects. “Ashiana housing scam is tip of iceberg. Much bigger scams will be uncovered once probe by NAB starts on sasti roti, metros, esp orange train where the contract has been kept under wraps, massive kickbacks in Punjab road construction contracts, Danish schools etc,” wrote the PTI chief.

He also lambasted Shehbaz Sharif for “attacking” the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), urging him to face all charges and disprove them.

To the surprise of many, the Government of Punjab quickly jumped in to defend  the chief executive and tweeted back, reminding the PTI chief that he himself is facing corruption allegations, the government wrote: “Despite passage of months, u have yet 2 respond to 3 defamation cases filed by CM Punjab against u 4 making BASELESS allegations against him.”

Through its official handle, the provincial administration even provided a video link to CM’s presser in which he “responded to all 3 bogus, misleading & fabricated allegations in Aashina housing with facts, figures & record.”

Twitteratis were definitely not happy about the government using its official handle for such a ‘cover fire’ in this political assault.

 

 

 

This episode leaves many questions unanswered, the primary one being why would a government-backed Twitter handle respond to Imran Khan’s claims, and especially one directed against Shehbaz Sharif?