Hence, when PTI came on the scene, we were curious.
The party’s failure to win despite their claims of massive support only fed into the rigging accusations that were quite believable. It was only after PTI’s recent defeat in NA246, which even they accepted as fair, that we put forth a very genuine question: What exactly did PTI propose to solve Karachi's problems? Problems that a common Karachiite experiences by just being a Karachiite carrying a Karachi Domicile...does anyone understand what that's like?
We thought perhaps the Karachiites missed something in the party’s agenda or perhaps PTI couldn’t get its message across clearly enough. We were under the impression that like any sensible party, Insafians would’ve sat down and thought about why they lost and would give us concrete answers.
Alas! That was too much to ask for.
The responses ranged from Read party manifesto or don’t bother asking to Ask MQM (hain ji??) to We’ve never been in power in Karachi to Find solutions yourself (not sure why we should vote for YOU, then). One gentleman was astute enough to tell Karachi to stop relying on Lahore for God’s sake. When asked to explain his comment, he didn’t respond.
We are not making this up. The variety of stupid replies packed into that 150-comment long Facebook conversation that we endured was epic. So epic that we actually decided to sit down and draw charts and graphs and categorize the responses to fully understand how completely clueless a common PTI voter/supporter is with regards to Karachi.
Don’t mind our language. We’re actually being nice here.
The analysis of what PTI supporters are like on crack…er…Facebook is as follows. Get your facepalms ready. You’ll need LOTS.
When you ask PTI supporters about PTI plans on governance, they have three main responses. Yes, three. It’s in their manifesto because they revolve around ONLY these three responses. Thinking outside the THREE is banned or one is thrown out of PTI. The rebellious ones did tend to give us a variation of the three, though.
The SACRED THREE are:
- PTI has never been in power in Karachi to do something for the city. Translation: Give us power first, then, we plan. The idea that a political party MUST have an agenda prior to being elected so voters can vote on that was totally lost on the PTI warriors there.
- What has MQM/PPP/PML/JI/Other done for Karachi that you’re asking us? Translation: We’re no different. We just want a piece of the pie too so GIVE IT! And then, they start bashing other political parties.
- Go to KPK and look for yourself. Translation: We have no customized solutions; it’s a one size fits all enterprise. If you think it doesn’t fit you, change your freakin’ size. Right. So let’s understand this. You want an average Karachiite who hasn’t stepped outside his city for maybe 30 years because he has no family in any other part of the country nor enough funds to go vacationing, to just up and run and have a look-see at what you’ve done for Peshawar?? Because, of course, Peshawar and Karachi are so alike they’re practically the same city.
Now, to add more depth to their responses and for the sake of honest reporting, let’s talk about the variations of the THREE a bit.
Don’t even try to deny the political affiliation they thrust upon you because obviously why else would you find fault with their perfect faultless PTI if not for some other mean politician that you obviously blindly followed? In the conversation mentioned above, we repeatedly mentioned to the PTI supporters, that we do not support MQM but clearly as we were Urdu-speaking Karachiites, we just had to be MQM supporting Muhajirs. (Duh!) The bullying got worse. We were accused of voting on ethnic grounds and spreading ethnic hatred. (Say what? All we did was ask a legit question.) After this epiphany, they resorted to MQM bashing thinking they were hurting our feelings while what they were actually doing was hurting PTI popularity, their already diminishing IQ, and precious energy that would’ve been used better had they tried answering the original question. Despite constant reminders, they didn’t pick up on it.
The easiest way to ruffle the fancy feathers of PTI supporters is to say ‘I didn't like' and 'Imran Khan' in the same sentence. It doesn't matter what came in before/between/after it because they would’ve tuned out by then. They're more of a fan club than a political party so we suggest a Facebook cult page as a forum to them rather than a political one.
In real politics, every vote counts, even that of a sweeper, even that of a voter of another party if you think you can swing them to your side (hence, the term swing voters), and nobody in their right mind ever, in a million trillion gazillion years, leaves an independent voter alone because that kind of voter has no political loyalty yet. This independent voter is your BEST bet at gaining a new vote bank. In PTI, however, the voters that count are the ones that find Imran Khan purty. This is why they vote and this is why they want you to vote. If you refuse to crush on their god leader, then, may you burn in hell! And you will.
Ever see the movie Mean Girls? Multiply that by 10 and that's PTI supporters for you. Ask any question and they will phase you out by rambling (read: bashing and bitching about their political opponents), and after snootily telling you they don't care about your vote, they’ll group up (they are never alone, it’s always a pack) and gossip about you. The mean girls in the movie pulled it off because they were Lindsey Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried and Lacy Chabert. The Insafians we talked to were not, to put it as politely as possible.
The very serious PTI cultists also don't reply in public but rather in private messages in hopes to convert you. They have taken the art of telemarketing to a whole new annoying and persistent level. If you ignore the messages in the OTHER folder, and they lose the election, rest assured, YOU will be blamed for it. “Why don’t you crush on IK and vote already!”
Our question was simple, legit and we even entertained queries like what do you mean a Karachi domicile, which had us scratching our heads not because we couldn’t answer (because we could and did) but because really…you want to win in Karachi and you don’t know…?! Anyhow, we defined the terms domicile and Karachi domicile and why it was relevant to Karachiites. We even went as far as touching on the unfair quota system that has virtually robbed Karachiites of their rightful representation in the public sector in their own city for decades now…
We might as well have pulled out a pin from a grenade.
The responses turned from cheeky to plain vile. After an outright rejection of all of the above, one smart Insafian began educating us on how the University of Michigan, USA was instructed by the Supreme Court to admit non-American students for the sake of diversity. Granted. Foreigners were admitted as long as they were – wait for it – on merit. The university was never ordered to reject local diamonds in favor of foreign rocks. Moreover, if said foreigners ever demanded to be employed in any public service department in the US, they’d be sent back to their homeland with all due respect. Although, he’d never asked but we, for the sake of discussing issues between citizens of the same country, went on to explain the US public school system, local governments and how the zip codes worked with that but…Insafians had already decreed.
We were lying/treacherous/hateful because obviously Imran Khan was/is/always-will-be perfect for Pakistan. Obviously. Resistance to any of that was futile. We might as well walk the plank and die.
But before we go, may we borrow your facepalm? We’ve acutely run out of ours.
PS: This post first appeared in The Nation.