KARACHI: Former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal's press conference on Thursday was all the fuel needed to fire up a Twitter war among Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders Jahangir Tareen and Ali Zaidi, with PTI's Karachi organiser Zaidi lashing out at MNA Tareen for suggesting Kamal was a "civilised alternative" to MQM's reign in the metropolis.
It hit a nerve with Zaidi when Tareen tweeted that Kamal's "re-entry into Karachi politics will provide a civilised alternative to the people of Karachi" who, he said, were "following Altaf Hussain all these years".
When asked to comment on his quick take-down, Zaidi told Dawn.com: "It [Tareen's tweet] was insulting to the PTI workers of Karachi who work day and night in life threatening situations."
In what seemed a state of disbelief, Zaidi questioned his peer's loyalty and censured him publicly on Twitter: "Instead of saying our stance is vindicated, you tweet this? PTI was/is the civilised alternative! Whose side are you on?"
Another party leader, Ali Muhammad Khan, jumped into the fray in support of Zaidi, saying the only alternative to MQM supremo Altaf Hussain was PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
Twitter trolls picked favourites and took sides in the tiff.
Some basically asked Ali Zaidi to mind his own business before questioning Tareen's loyalties:
PTI's civility was questioned:
Twitter users also took the opportunity to tell it like it is:
'Bari nazuk surat-i-haal hai':
Some called out Ali Zaidi for "childish" behaviour:
There was also admonishment:
Ali Zaidi, while responding to Kamal's no-holds barred press conference yesterday, had said that the former mayor's allegations vindicated PTI’s stance on MQM, including the party's alleged links to Indian intelligence agency RAW.
"Mustafa Kamal’s passionate candour regarding MQM’s links to RAW and criminal activities is a true vindication of our stance on MQM, as we have been saying the same for the past few years in the media and other public forums. However, I wish that Kamal would have spoken earlier but better late than never," said Zaidi.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan also tweeted that Kamal's press conference "reaffirmed what we had been saying all along: the tyranny of Altaf Hussain including on his own supporters".