As dissident lawmakers of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) continue to come out in the open, the party officials are resorting to vitriolic language to shame them.
On Thursday, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill gave an expletive-laden interview in which he repeatedly used an abusive word against dissident PTI MNA Ramesh Kumar on live television in a fit of rage.
PTI’s MNA and Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce, Industries and Production Aalia Hamza also used abusive language against the PTI lawmakers who were present in the Sindh House, calling them ‘worse than prostitutes.’ She said that Sindh House was operating ‘like a brothel’ and that ‘pimps are sitting there.’
“I am sorry for using such words on national TV, but these are my sentiments right now as a politician [after I witnessed] the filthy [political tactics] at the Sindh House today by the PDM,” the MNA said.
Education Minister of Punjab Dr Murad Raas posted on Twitter saying “Sindh House has been turned into a Political Brothel. Political prostitutes are running in and out of this Brothel. Head Pimp – Asif Ali Bemareee”.
Many on social media have condemned PTI’s insults and name calling as unbecoming of members of the government.
Responding to the education minister’s tweets, one commentator wrote “All the education that resulted in a ‘PhD’ and this is what he has to offer.”
This is not the first time members of the PTI have come under criticism for using abusive and inappropriate language against their critics.
Dr. Shahbaz Gill has repeatedly targeted journalist Asma Shirazi, taking to Twitter earlier this year to lambast her ‘stinking journalism,’ claiming that she disdainfully ‘attacked’ other women.
Earlier in 2020, women journalists had signed a petition in which they called on the government to act against trolls associated with the ruling party who engage in abusive campaigns, sometimes even resorting to threats of murder and sexual violence. However, after the petition, these abusive campaigns only increased. The signatories of the petition were particularly targeted.
This behaviour by the ruling party supporters and officials is linked to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s own statements about ‘corrupt’ individuals deserving violence. The PTI leadership has often encouraged these attacks against journalists, with many officials inciting violence against the journalists critical of the government.
With the current wave of abuse against dissident lawmakers of the ruling party, it is clear that the use of such language is part of the party’s culture where every voice of dissent is treated with hostility.