February 16, 2023

The hate is entrenched

Imran Khan (Image: Dawn.com)
I remember having a conversation with a friend a while back. It was about the filth that Imran Khan has mainstreamed. The uncouth language, the harebrained takes, the perversion, the duplicity. This friend of mine came back with the mother of all Teflon-esque responses; he said that it didn’t matter how Imran Khan talks, or how he behaves, or the degrading language he mainstreams, because that language is used in Punjab anyway. It was in that moment that I realized that the damage has already been done. Rational thought and argument has all but vanished from our citizenry. It is only vileness and hate that remains.

Twitter is a prime example of this exact phenomenon. Go to any tweet that offers some criticality of Imran Khan. You will not find decent discourse under it. What you will find instead is vileness, name calling, grudges and hate. Just today for example, Talat Hussain posted the letter that Imran Khan has penned to Arif Alvi asking that an inquiry be initiated against General Bajwa. Instead of taking the content of the tweet and the letter on its merit, the loafers of the cult of Imran came crawling out of the woodwork to attack Talat Hussain. They did not debate the merits or the contents of the letter. No. They just spewed their hate. 

Amongst this garbage, someone put up a response saying Talat Hussain is a journalist who’s been exposing Bajwa, Saqib Nisar and Niazi, and that he wished all pro Pakistan politicians would gather together under one banner. A perfectly innocent suggestion. But even that was not spared. He was attacked based on his looks and asked: why do you have a woman’s ponytail on your head?

Often I am told by the cultists that Nawaz Sharif and his lackeys use degrading and defamatory language against Imran Khan too. I agree. There are certainly those in the corridors of the high castles that use derogatory language. But they don’t do it the way Imran Khan does it, or has done. For example, in Nawaz Sharif’s hard hitting recorded video about the 2018 election rigging, you will notice that he keeps using the term General Bajwa “sahib”, and he refers to him using the respectful title of “آپ”. Yet again there are those who counter this by saying so what? So what does it matter if Imran Khan uses derogatory language? So what if he uses boys locker room talk? So what if he uses sexist, misogynist tropes? At least he isn’t “corrupt”.

Facts don’t matter to the cult of Imran, so it is useless to state that Imran Khan is corrupt, and not just financially at that; he’s also morally and ethically corrupt. The extent of the corruption that prevailed under him and by him includes: laundering of hundreds of millions by his cronies including Farah Gogi, Usman Buzdar, Malik Riaz, Jehangir Tareen, Bushra Bibi; legalizing the corrupt and forceful seizure of land for housing societies; looking the other way when journalists were picked up, shot, beaten, disappeared. Pretending to make riyasat-e-Medina all the while legalizing the illegal Hyatt Towers in Islamabad, where he was presented with two flats. His corruption has had such far reaching consequences that they have corrupted the minds of the brainwashed generation. He has fed them fodder and eroded their critical thinking skills. The damage has been devastating, and the hate he has filled in those crevices is now entrenched. Remember when Naeem ul Haq slapped Daniyal Aziz on TV and Imran Khan’s response was “why didn’t you punch him instead?” There is hatred where there was disagreement. He has divided a nation that cannot afford such division and hate. 

Imran Khan is not the promised messiah. He certainly presented himself as one, and he along with the super king Bajwa was able to brainwash a lot of the people desperately looking for a savior into believing that he is one. But he is not. Leaders — corrupt or not — are supposed to lead. And when a leader is a text book narcissist, a hypocrite, a master of deceit, a grade A sexist and misogynist, a pervert, morally and ethically corrupt, he legitimizes this perversion in his followers.

Imran Khan is a 70 year old boomer. You can’t teach him to mend his ways. He is part of that classic privileged, elitist bad boy club who got away with everything. He’ll get away with this too. But the damage he has unleashed is permanent. It will take a new generation (and one that needs to be taught love, empathy and kindness, all of which we cannot because it has been systematically drilled out of us) to right this broken and hollow ship. Until then, the troll army of the grand charlatan will keep spreading their lies, filth and deceit around.