PML-N wary of PTI’s social media dominance

Published December 8, 2023
PML-N leader Saad Rafique addresses a press briefing in Lahore on Thursday. — YouTube screengrab
PML-N leader Saad Rafique addresses a press briefing in Lahore on Thursday. — YouTube screengrab

LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is wary of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) dominance on social media platforms, but it asserts that it may not have an impact on the polls, which will be contested on the ground.

“The PTI invested in social me­­dia over the last 15 years, and we lagged behind. What is happening in cyberspace is not on the streets. The elections will be held on the ground, and we are prepa­r­­ed for it,” PML-N leader Saad Rafique told reporters on Thursday.

A day earlier, PML-N deputy secretary general Attaullah Tarar had talked about “lethal propaganda” of the PTI on social media regarding the popularity of PTI supremo Imran Khan and unpopularity of PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif.

Some other leaders also frequ­e­n­tly discuss the PTI’s dominance on social media. In recent months, PML-N has heavily invested in soc­ial media, even hiring a significant number of journalists to counter the PTI onslaught in cyberspace.

Emphasises ground impact in polls; electables, former lawmakers join PML-N

Mr Rafique further said the elections should be held on time, noting that the Senate polls were due in the coming March. He said that the economy would stabilise once the new government took over after the elections.

On seat adjustments with Jehangir Khan Ta­­reen’s Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party, he said, “No decision has been taken yet in this regard.”

More join PML-N

Some so-called electables and former lawmakers from Jhang and other parts of the province on Thursday joined the PML-N.

They include M. Asif Mauvia, Babar Sial, Mehr Aslam Bharwana, Sheikh Younas, Khalid Sargana, Khalid Ghani, Ameer Abbas Sial, Sheikh Yaqoob, and Faisal Hayat Jeevana.

They called on PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif and announced their joining the party.

PML-N Punjab president Rana Sanaullah held a presser along with them. Former Punjab Assem­bly Speaker Dost Mazari also ann­o­unced formally joining the PML-N.

Mr Sanaullah said although the PTI had made Gohar Ali Khan its chairman, he should not be allowed to field the May 9 suspects in polls.

He said that Mr Gohar should sep­arate the May 9 suspects from his party and let them face prosecution.

“The PTI wants to take along the May 9 suspects to contest the polls, which will never happen,” he said.

Mr Sanaullah said the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari wanted to make the 18th Amend­ment issue an election slogan. He suggested that additions cou­ld be made to the 18th Amendment.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2023

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