The top trend in Pakistan on Twitter today was #WeHateLiberalFascists, started by a charming young man called Farhan Khan Virk who according to his Twitter bio is a "Global Youth Ambassador for the UN" - (since I wrote the post, he has changed his Twitter bio), as well as a medical student, blogger, social media activist, and by the look of his tweets, a PTI fanatic and yadda yadda yadda. So I went to his blog to check out what kind of views this man espouses, when I discovered that he's "neither a liberal fascist, nor a religious fanatic". Well good for him.
The reason Mr Virk started the #WeHateLiberalFascists hashtag was because according to him "TTP and Liberal Fascists are same! One group kills us and the other group protects those killers from hangings!" [link].
Now before I delve deeper into the narrative espoused my Mr Virk, let me just clarify who a fascist actually is. A fascist is someone who believes in radical authoritarian nationalism. The same kind being displayed by Mr Virk and his ilk. So by any stretch of the imagination, it is Mr Virk who is technically a liberal fascist, and not those who disagree with him.
I don't know under what rock Mr Virk lies but the truth of the matter is that the so called "liberal fascists" he wants to hang (along with the Taliban) are the same people who have been voicing their anti Taliban opinions since this whole mess started in Pakistan. The same people who said do not make a distinction between the good and bad Taliban; the same people who warned talking to these terrorists will come to bite you in the ass; the same people who stand outside Lal Masjid and demand that those terrorist apologists who spew hate from the pulpits of mosques are held accountable. But as Mr Virk is a PTI supporter (member?) logic, common sense and decency do not seem to be his forte.
Hypocrisy seems to be woven into the fabric of the PTI so let me refresh everyone's memory a little bit. Imran Khan has been shouting himself hoarse by saying repeatedly that these terrorists who kill and maim Pakistanis are "our people" who have been wronged, and who have lost loved ones in drone attacks. That these terrorists responsible for the deaths of 60,000 Pakistanis are angry because American drones kill terrorists inside Pakistan. Imran Khan also famously said that the "Taliban do not want to impose Sharia in Pakistan by using force". Imran Khan, by the looks of it, seems to have a great in with the Taliban. The problem however is, that every time Khan opens his mouth to drop his pearls of wisdom, he's proven wrong; but that's a discussion for another time. What's important to note here is that just like Imran Khan, his supporters have cried themselves hoarse in defending the Taliban, and flayed the government when it decided to launch an operation against these terrorists. So it astonishes me that Mr Virk has the audacity to say the so called liberal fascists and the Taliban are the same when these liberal fascists were the one constantly opposing the Taliban, while Mr Virk and his ilk were defending the soul less monsters roaming in Pakistan's tribal belt.
Hijacking a narrative and obfuscating the truth has become the norm in Pakistan. That's what Mr Virk and his fellow PTI supporters have done in this instance. Let me just briefly mention the backstory of why liberal fascists offend Mr Virk so much. After the government lifted the moratorium on the death penalty in Pakistan, a lot of clear headed Pakistanis implored the government to rethink the decision. The reason was that 86% of the death row inmates were tried by anti terrorism courts, when they had in fact nothing to do with terrorism. Shafqat Hussain's case is a glaring example of this injustice. When people raised their voice on this issue, in swooped Mr Virk and his ilk to hijack the issue and say liberal fascists are defenders of terrorists because they don't want them to be hanged. But that's not really the truth now, is it?
Now Farhan Khan Virk is a man who likes to stir the pot every now and then against all those people the PTI loves to hate. But I don't see him starting a Twitter trend to ask the government about the unfortunate release of Malik Ishaq, the leader of the terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, or the release of Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, the main accused in the Mumbai attacks. This is what ticks people off. The hypocrisy of these so called defenders of Pakistan. Maybe next time Mr Virk would be well advised to go after people who have actually harmed Pakistan and harbor the intent to do it again, instead of those who simply do not fit in the myopic bracket of Mr Virk's acceptable opinions list.