LONDON: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urged Pakistan Muslim League Noon (PML-N) lions to always be respectful and not forget manners when using social media, in a sharp contrast to the behaviour of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf Tigers who often resort to abusive language to solidify their rhetoric.
Addressing a speech to PML-N’s social media convention, the former premier highlighting the importance of social media and how it could be used to push back against dictatorial forces which pushed the country towards a preiod of censorship.
Nawaz Sharif, who recently joined the microblogging site, Twitter, commended the great work his social media team did, praising how his daughter, Mohtarma Maryam Nawaz Sharif had greatly contributed to PML-N’s social media team.
“Whether it’s Facebook, YouTube or Twitter, Nawaz Sharif stands by you in every platform,” Nawaz Sharif said to followers reflecting an apt knowledge of various social media applications.
Criticising the restrictions on press freedom in Pakistan, Mian Nawaz Sharif said: “Using the controlled media, it is being alleged that my narrative is weakening the country. These unconstitutional forces have strangled freedom of speech in Pakistan.”
The Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has banned speeches of Nawaz Sharif to be broadcasted which is considered to be a violation of his fundamental rights by several quarters.
Nawaz Sharif also criticised growing inflation under the PTI government.
“If someone is taking 20 thousand or 30 thousand or 50 thousand (monthly) salary, how will they surive? How will they pay electric bills, gas bills, school fees, rent? This is something to think about. It’s boggles my heart. But they are worried only about stopping my narrative on mainstream media.”
The former premier said that he would use the power of social media to reach his followers. “The world has changed, today because of social media, new and independent ways of sharing voices has come forth. I am a prime example.”
Lashing out at his opponents, Nawaz Sharif that the present Pakistan was not the country poet Allama Iqbal had dreamt of.
“Until now, none of the [elected] prime ministers have been allowed to complete their constitutional term. Every few years, democracy is attacked and martial law is imposed,” the former prime minister roared to highly motivated crowds in Lahore.
“Ask yourself, why did this happen to my country?” Nawaz Sharif asked his followers.
Highlighting the narrative of civilian supremacy, Nawaz Sharif asked whether it was treason to expose those who had formed a “state above a state”.