PTI likes those who praise, detests critics: Sethi | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

PTI likes those who praise, detests critics: Sethi

Pakistan Press Foundation

LAHORE: Talking about the PTI’s tactics of targeting media, especially Geo News, senior analyst Najam Sethi said Geo News policy was very balanced and impartial, while some other channels were airing one-sided stories.

He said Imran had been damaging media, particularly Geo and its anchors, for quite some time now.

Referring to the language used and the entire conspiracy theory constructed by the PTI chief, he said Geo and he (Sethi) were the main focus of Imran who was responsible for his supporters’ behaviour. Imran was the first to incite them and declaring that Geo and Sethi were behind the alleged rigging, as he also targeted the former CJP and the Election Commission., he added.

According to Sethi, when a leader uses such language and levels serious allegations without any proof – although he avoids the courts when asked to decide the matter there – his followers think that every claim of their chief is genuine and they must copy him. It is a good opportunity for us to raise the point that we are being targeted.

Sethi said severe pressure and threats left negative effects on media which started to shy away from speaking the truth, meaning that the people would not get the news.

“Imran needs to speak the truth as he is a champion of truth. And what will happen when he does not give any importance to truth and justice.”

Sethi questioned did Imran want to create a new Pakistan where lies were rampant and no proof was to be given, and threats were given with media stopped from working.

He said Imran should condemn those who were targeting media and Geo as this sort of impartially was not appreciable. They wanted that every claim of Imran was accepted and the facts were concealed which was not possible, he added.

Sethi asked Imran should press for including his conspiracy theory and all the people accused of conducting rigging in the judicial commission’s terms of reference (ToRs), saying the PTI chief would have to prove his accusations.

He said Imran should apologise and withdraw the allegations, if he failed to prove the charges in the probe so that the rigging drama could come to an end and the government was allowed to function. “We would like to get ourselves cleared or otherwise we should be punished if allegations are proved.”

According to Sethi, every dictator pressurises media but thinks otherwise when he returns towards democracy or is in opposition. In an earlier interview, Imran was very happy and the PTI supporters had made him (Sethi) a hero, but was turned into zero because of a little bit of criticism.

He asked Imran to change his attitude and show some patience because he has to become a big leader and come into power in the future, saying media was always run on criticising the one who was in the government. “The thing which frightens us is that whether democracy is practiced in the party (PTI) or not or there is only dictatorship in it.”

Sethi said PTI liked only those who praised it and detest the critics. The current crisis would have been avoided if Nawaz Sharif had listened to media’s advice, but the rulers tended not to do so.

“There is a huge difference in Nawaz of 1999 and that of today,” he noted. Nawaz was a dictator-like person at that time, but he dad become so much a democrat after learning the lesson that he was unable to use police even for maintaining law and order.

About the government-PTI talks, Sethi said Imran was backtracking from his previous stance and maintaining that some important things should be checked to ascertain whether there was any rigging or not. The Election Commission could easily prove its position on the additional ballot papers which wasn’t a solid proof, while the audit of proforma 14/15 would also not give anything, he added.

According to Sethi, there are many issues and it is easy for the government to say that “we are ready to accept everything that you say”. There are always some irregularities in some constituencies, which isn’t a new thing, but it does not change the overall election result. Imran’s demands would not be acceptable to the government and the PTI chief should prove the allegations that he had levelled previously. He must not backtrack.

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