For PTI trolls: A lesson on bashing

Published: March 25, 2012

Frankly, I am quite tired of listening to the same arguments over and over again. So to escape the same buzzwords, I decided to help them out by writing a playbook for them. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

If you are using any social media platform, you have probably come across the PTI troll.

In most cases they make emotional arguments, repeating the same things posted on the PTI website or (worse still) basing arguments on the statements of their great leader.

Frankly, I am quite tired of listening to the same arguments over and over again. So to escape the same buzzwords, I decided to help them out by writing a playbook for those senselessly bashing the Sharifs.

I am laying out three good arguments that can be made by anyone who hates PML-N and not look like a fool while doing so.

1.    The laptop issue

When PTI supporters argue this, they start by quoting random figures they pull out of thin air. When they are asked to substantiate them, they start finding sources and often end up finding them from Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s own website. Attacking someone (like the PML-N) who has the facts and figures on their website makes one look like a fool.

The next mistake is arguing about the state of education in Punjab in general. This is a bad path to go down and a pointless one too because it’s not related to laptops and every major international institution heaps praises on Punjab.

The correct way of arguing this is to raise the following questions:

What should be done with the laptop?

Is it for typing only?

What about internet access? Will the government provide Wi-Fi to the whole of Punjab?

If the government is not providing a free internet connection, what is the purpose of the laptop scheme? Also, how are people going to print stuff if the need arises? Does the Punjab government plan to give printers soon? In essence, giving someone a laptop is like giving them a car engine; it’s crucial but it requires other things to allow proper usage.

2.      The health care issue

Most PTI supporters do not know how to go about arguing this.

They normally watch a few clips of Dunya or Express TV and start acting as if they know everything. In addition to this, they would also simply repeat their great leader’s words and refer to Shahbaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif as the “dengue brothers”.

Calling them names is childish and immature. This is something the Khan supporters and their leader do not understand. What is worse is that using names like this in arguments makes the whole argument weak.

The correct way of doing this is by raising questions like:

Why does all health care attention only focus on central Punjab?

How come the state of the health care institutions in northern Punjab is so bad? What about southern Punjab?

Why does the government keep giving in to doctors and their demands when everyone knows that they are not right? If there is good governance, why isn’t there a proper website or a public platform that lists all the medicines that are available through the government? Why is the Punjab government randomly approving more medical colleges in the province when they could easily be expanding the existing ones? Why is money being wasted on projects that cannot be replicated across Punjab?

Each one of these questions is a strong one, it requires a detailed answer and in most cases that answer does not exist. If these were being used in an argument, it would genuinely make sense and create impact.

3.       The infrastructure projects

Again in this regard, PTI supporters really do not know what to say. They just attack the costs of the projects – which is good to make a splash – but is quite pointless.

Attacks on cost of a certain project or the idea that it is for personal benefit are unintelligent. So instead of doing that, here are questions that would genuinely have an impact and create a solid argument:

How come most of the budget for Punjab’s development gets spent in Lahore?

Is it the government of Punjab or government of central Punjab? Because the way things are it looks like the latter.

Why do all infrastructure projects in the province keep getting tendered to the NLC without any open tenders?

Why is that a year before the elections, the PML N government has dug up nearly all major cities of Punjab? Were they sleeping for four years that they did not realise that development projects had to be done?

Why did the Punjab government cancel the Lahore Mass Transit System that was being initiated by the previous government, even though it was a great system and could have changed Lahore forever?

Why is the new bus service that is supposed to run on Ferozepur road, Lahore, being based out of Thokar Niaz Beg? How come development in Punjab happens in concentric circles ie anything closer to Lahore gets more developed while the further away the area is, the more ignored it is?

The three points that I have elaborated on could make for a healthy discussion.

The point is, if you are going to attack someone and bash them, at least does it properly. Do not come up with uninformed arguments as they hurt you more than help you.

Read more from Adnan here.  Follow him on twitter @adnanrasool.



Adnan Khalid Rasool

Currently the Deputy Executive Director Center for Enterprise, Trade and Development, Adnan is also a political analyst working mainly on electoral politics and political campaign management. He tweets at @adnanrasool

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Z

    Just because most people who comment are apparently PTI supporters does not mean they are ‘trolls.’ From what I am seeing, an overwhelming majority of comments from PTI supporters are on articles related to PTI. That is NOT trolling. It’s when for instance a PMLN supporter (e.g. bithe from these pages) feels compelled to go on every single PTI-related article and comment.Recommend

  • Ovais

    adnan .. .the point … is people want imran.. and you are loooking for excuses .. when he is so close… because obv it will affect u personally …Recommend

  • Amjad

    good points indeed. highly appriciated but the intro is not on brother. the thing is that people forget when PTI TROLLS are attacked severly on internet and specially on tv talk show no body talk about them at all but when they hit back everyone accuse them. i mean lets play fair. i know pti supporters use abusive language and are harsher at times which is NOT on at all and should not be supported. no question about it. but the thing is we should play it fair. we should protect both sides. the pti supporters and the anti-pti supporters as well. at the end of the day we are all pakistanis and we all want pakistan to prosperous . cheersRecommend

  • Raheel

    Internet party ..Recommend

  • khalid

    I am also tired of these nawaz sharif agents working for sharif’s just for the money not for the country.Recommend

  • http://NewYork Falcon

    Come on man. Give us PTI walas a break. Have you seen how many blogs / op-eds have been published in the last few months on PTI alone? First IK bashing then, PTI bashing, and now PTI supporter bashing (since I assume everyone who supports PTI in your view and tries to defend it is a troll). Recommend

  • A

    Thing is the whole piece is about how to argue better.. but for some reason PTI walas have managed to take something that is meant to help them out and turn it in to something that is against them.. what is up with this whole martyr complex with PTI? Yanni Y do u guys always have to act as the victims.. grow up.. read the damn thing.. its a gold mine of ideas u idiots! Recommend

  • Abu Bakr

    Way to think you’re somehow infinitely smarter then all the young men and women supporting the PTI :) Recommend

  • Parvez

    Very nicely argued and written.
    What you have missed is the bigger picture that the PTI supporter and general man on the street sees the PML-N as a relic of the old failed system and a co-conspirator of the PPP, a bastion of corruption —- and the man on the street wants a change. It may work and it may not but this is the only way the system will improve.Recommend

  • Imran

    Just because they speak against you… “they don’t make sense”. I mean WOW!!!
    Seriously man.. whats wrong with tribune!
    and P.S. “I am PTI.. & I am proud to be a troll against these corrupt leaders”Recommend

  • Habiba Younis

    yea right, saint preaching others of how to criticize political elements in a ‘civilized’ manner without calling names as its immature and * childish* while himself addressing PTI supporters as “TROLLS”. Recommend


    The Name of change is IMRAN KHANRecommend

  • Rehman

    For heaven sake, don’t you have something else to do? How qualified you are to challenge “PTI trolls”? From where you have taken the arguments that you ascribe to “PTI trolls”?
    Come and have a debate with any of the “PTI troll” and you will get to know who present facts and figures and what arguments they present.Recommend

  • Waseem

    LOL, first of all PTI supporters are NOT troll, there are hundreds of other who will argue with reason and logic, and they do give response according to the situation, a anti PTI troll deserves a trolling from PTI side. And unfortunately there are many senior journalists who do trolling against PTI intentionally so they should not be complaining if they get response in same manner. Recommend

  • PTI supporter

    “I believe in Imran Khan and thats it,i need not to criticize others..”..
    This should be the attitude of every PTI supporter,seriously.But then again,Sharifs nd all others will still be criticized..the whole nation does that (you need not to highlight only PTI-trolls for that).. ‘fools’ ,all of us are!..right?Recommend

  • Adeel

    Well, keep on doing propaganda at ur level best. I would say PMLN would keep on developing Pakistan as more as you would do propaganda. good luckRecommend

  • M.Aswad Mehtab

    I wonder and wonder Alot !! If there are so many People who love to right against PTI !! Why don’t they right in favour of there fav. Party ? so the image of their fav. Party can be improved?? Yes right , there is nothing to write …

    I can’T recall if i ever seen an Article by any of these PTI bashing writers on the topic of , I love PMLN/PPP/MQM/APN etc …Did any one ???

    This is quite weird… Recommend

  • Hira Z

    And what do we call PPP (liberals) supporters sitting abroad and lying and lying and just lying ?


    Blockquote> BlockquoteBlockquote

    Emaan ki sub say kamzoor halaat yeh hai kay insan burai ko (atleast) dil say tasleem karay


  • Talal Khan

    I think Express Tribune has gone mad, I mean they have enough space for the people who bash Imran Khan and PTI. In-numerical blogs have been written in few in past few months and every other article is against PTI, how can tribune justify this? It seems like PTI has committed a crime, so many blogs are being written against the party which is not even in power anywhere. Or all the issues and problems have been resolved in the country that tribune does not find any place to highlight them. Going against PTI in this manner is simply pathetic and of the low standards.Recommend

  • Talal Khan

    what would you call Irfan Siddique and Ata-ul-Haq qasami? If PTI supporters are trolls then these maniac people are the head of this troll community. Write something which make sense.Recommend

  • samra

    i m proud PTI Troll……Recommend

  • Khalid Khan

    Your article is deficient as you may have unintentionally not mentioned PML(N) politicians Hippocratic behavior, Self projection at Tax payer’s money, Introduction of Lafafa culture for media, Ten Camp offices of ———–Aala in Lahore, Unprecedented Protocol given to brother (NS), Son (HS), Niece (Maryam Safdar) and now Massee Museebtay (MM).Recommend

  • nadeem

    Pseudo intellectualls are wrting their crictique from the comfort of their drawing room. The ground realities have changed. People will vote IK in majority and these psuedo intectualls will have no place to hide their facesRecommend

  • Jalal

    Thankyou O Mighty one.. without you, all would be lost.Recommend

  • Rabia Tahir

    PTI fans are extremely stupid Recommend

  • Umer Rasheed

    Pseudo intellectualism much. Recommend

  • Umer Rasheed

    The fact of the matter is that such criticism is not based on party politics or naivety of the public for being die-hard PTI fans; such articles are a channel to vent their frustration as they are too ‘elite’ and too ‘educated’ to support any political party leave alone PTI. Recommend

  • Umer Rasheed

    It is only that some people think that they are too educated, too sophisticated, too intelligent to become a part of something which is highly ‘public’.Recommend

  • Umer Rasheed

    Cheap publicity stunt as anything anti-PTI gets high ratingsRecommend

  • Abdur Rahman

    I am sorry but what a useless article…And I don’t get it I have seen Pakistanis talk bad, abuse get emotional and all that but please stop this foolishness that “its the PTI supporters who talk bad.” Almost all the arguments you have suggested are already being argued by the people or the PTI supporters.

    But the thing is: Why don’t YOU write articles asking PML-N these questions, instead of writing every article while ‘aiming’ to target the PTI or its supporters????

    Accept it, a major chunk of Pakistan supports this party including the Most of the Intellectuals and those silent intellectuals of Pakistan who don’t ususally express their views.Recommend

  • Salman Zafar

    A proud PTI TROLL against corrupt PPP and PMLN….
    and shame on you writer…Recommend

  • Umer Rasheed

    The above article is a part of a series of PTI bashing by our educated elite that thinks that being part of something which is highly ‘public’ these days makes them a common man and hence they aim to provide a detailed in-depth criticism in every domain from education to foreign policy etc just to alienate themselves as the elite minds. Feudalism much.Recommend

  • Pakistani First

    Describe what a troll is? Apparently only those people who are supporting IK are trolls and others such as Blithe who show up at every news article just to bash PTI and spread hatred are intellectuals right? I read the first paragraph of your article and knew where this was going hence no need to read any further.Recommend

  • geeko

    The day I’ll see a PTI ‘troll’ create multiple Youtube accounts and go on with the same writing style (lol) on how Imran Khan is a ‘Jew agent’ (you know, his part time job, when he’s not “Taliban Khan”) … by the way, I think I know why the author is a bit sad…

    PTI has a strong message in urban areas, while in rural areas it still has a lot of ground to cover. They have a good message but they have to battle it out with established candidates which is extremely hard to do, as they lack the candidates to put up a strong challenge.

    See “Why PPP will be re-elected in 2013” by the same author, who missed the jalsays in “rural areas”, and who should know that the PML-* vote-bank is now being slowly converted into pro-PTIsm in Punjab’s rural zones, and PPP is doing enough publicity for PTI trough its sheer incompetence.

    The point is, our “liberal” elite, auto-proclaimed paragon of intellectual emancipation, just has this nearly-existential need of questioning PTI on purely subjective if not fantastic basis ; so, PTI trolls are a necessity to counter the poetic tirades of our enlightened journalists.Recommend

  • Pakistan politics

    ET loves to bash, Imran khan, Pakistan Army/ISI, and IslamRecommend

  • Anayat Ullah

    Hi, I would like to suggest that you should increase your social circle because obviously you are exposed to only few comments from PTI’s fans. Let me express my view on the three points and show you how views vary along the length of the internet.

    Distributing public money is never a good idea. It could have been done in a better way. These laptops could have been donated to university libraries and students allowed to borrow them for the whole semester and returning them at the end of the semester. In this way, public money could have been used in a much efficient way.
    As much as I would not like to redicule anyone, but have you seen Shehbaz Sharif in public gatherings. He basically redicules himself. What about breaking mikes and stomping his foot on the ground as if he was killing a zombie. Have you heard their speeches. I am sorry but seeing these brothers I am always reminded of dumb and dumber. Sue me for feeling that way.
    Punjab gets the bigger share of the pie. It should be spent very carefully since the other provinces dont get much. Anybody can spend money. Spending it wisely is the trick. Spending on public infrastructure is fine but how much has been spent on projects with any return on them. How much has been spent on job creating. I mean the industry. How much has the GDP increased. How much has the export increased from spending that public money. That is the big question. If we keep spending money like this than in the very near future punjab would be the biggest spender but the smallest one to contribute to the national exchequer. The amount of money contributed to the national exchequer per person is the smallest for Punjab already. The highest being for Balochistan and Sindh. Punjab cant afford spending money recklessly. That is why it is all the most important that Punjab should be run by wise people since our national security depends on it.

  • rizwan

    shame on youRecommend

  • MarkH

    How do you people completely miss the point so often? Most of the comments acting as though they’re offended are saying things like they’re not even reading the same article. If these are the face of Pakistan’s educated the standards must be extremely low.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad

    Author is right, whenever there is a serious issue, the PTI supporters duck, e.g. on Bilal Khar issue, no one from PTI has issued any statement. On NATO supply issue too, they are silent.. Maulana Diesel is more clear on issues than Imran Khan.Recommend

  • Muddassir

    I love to see how ET has provided a forum to these bloggers to unleash their ignorance….good move as ET can’t get any decent writer to write something IK/PTIRecommend

  • Ali

    Why we bash on PMLN? they are hypocrites. They say there is the best law & order condition in this province but they do not go for local bodies election by saying poor law & order conditions prevailing in the Punjab. Shame on you PMLN.

    Good article Mr. Adnan, thanks for help.Recommend

  • Hafeez

    Hey PTI supporters! For God’s sake, why don’t you understand that the writer is helping you out. Please read it again, it would help you guys a lot in a writing and arguing in a coherent way. Recommend

  • shahzad

    And now u ll teach ppl how to give comments and how to put up the case . PPl are sick of these old politicians and now we can comment what ever we like . If they can loot the whole country so we have the right to tell them what they doing wrong . BTW why all media person are against PTI supporters lolz WTH is going on . Recommend

  • shahzad

    If any one wants attention he ll just write something against PTI …. something salman Rushdie has done in India lolz …. Its the power of ppl no one can fight it not the dengue bros or mr 10 percent or neither their supporters . Recommend

  • Balal

    Dear Mr Self-proclaimed intellectual

    PTI supporters comprise of Pakistanis and this is the way most of the Pakistanis argue (without substance). So carrying out an attack on just PTI supporters to prove that they are dumb was the dumbest thing you could do and you did it well.Recommend

  • elementary

    Such an enlightening article without which PTI supporters would have surely gone astray. I would suggest to make it compulsary for every PTI supporter to read it before he can become a member.Recommend

  • elementary

    Mr true intellectual ,since you have argued with such depth and substance ,I guess you are not pakistani.Recommend

  • http://Islamabad Awais Ch

    Long Live Bashers!!!Recommend

  • Atta ur Rahman

    :) you need to wake up then brother … Recommend

  • Atta ur Rahman

    Its pointless to discuss, if they argue poorly or not… Point is they all want Imran Khan…
    point is they are sick of so call political Shairs (PML-N) and so called BHUTOs who even have no idea who Bhutto was and what his mission was…
    They get hyper, use hard and harsh language because they feel the pain for the way current ruling parties are treating Pakistan…

    Better to say some words to awaken people “Jag mere Punjab .. Ky Pakistan chala..”
    rather then keep saying “Apni tu Dua hai yea Sadar tu rahy sada….”
    better expose those who are mishandling the Pak land…

    Pakistan Zindabaad…Recommend

  • Abdul

    Worst article ever!!

    Blockquote> BlockquoteBlockquote

    What should be done with the laptop?
    Is it for typing only?
    What about internet access?Blockquote

    Plz dont be soo lame! Even a child knows this! But yes, this article is from a PMLN supporter! Nothing better to expect from them! :)Recommend

  • Khalid Khan

    Terming PTI supporter as “Troll” clearly depict that the writer is not only immature but also does not know what he is discussing. Unfortunately the print and electronic media boom has given rise to some so called Critics and Analyst who do not either have the etiquettes or have the exposure to express their views properly. The newspaper like Express Tribune should not print rubbish but should publish articles after proper scrutiny.Recommend

  • Asrar Hassan

    A troll is that, who Recommend his own comments by changing IP addresses lol Shame on PTI trolls.Recommend

  • RiffyR

    Being a troll isn’t always a bad thing.Recommend

  • Seema Shaikh

    Wow wonderful article , and again senseless responses from PTI troll. Like their Leader they can’t speak sense. Recommend

  • Yasir Mehmood

    you can connect a usb with a laptop and can read thousands of books for free on your laptop you dont necessarily require a internet connection to study, besides majority of the government universties including my one where laptops are distributed have 24 hrs wi fi so the 1st argument is still weak.Recommend

  • the writer is big fk

    first thing fist the one the blogers these day uses IK or PTI is just get views on their blogs . the fact of matter is that i havent seen a bolg about Nawaz Shreef or PMLN that has more then 5 to comment .i rest case buy saying he is being trolly buy using IK name to get view on the blogs .
    Why we bash on PMLN? they are hypocrites. They say there is the best law & order condition in this province but they do not go for local bodies election by saying poor law & order conditions prevailing in the PunjabRecommend

  • rav

    first thing fist the one the blogers these day uses IK or PTI is just get views on their blogs . the fact of matter is that i havent seen a bolg about Nawaz Shreef or PMLN that has more then 5 to comment .i rest case buy saying he is being trolly buy using IK name to get view on the blogs .
    Why we bash on PMLN? they are hypocrites. They say there is the best law & order condition in this province but they do not go for local bodies election by saying poor law & order conditions prevailing in the PunjabRecommend

  • Eneez

    PTI is nothing but a bunch of loyalty shifting people. PML – N is actually doing something for Punjab. So it is pointless to bash them. Who is Imran Khan to point his fingers at PML -N? He has been hanging out with lotaas too much!Recommend