‘How much did they pay you to defame Imran Khan and PTI?’

Published: July 4, 2013

A cartoon by Sabir Nazar, published in The Express Tribune.

It seems The Express Tribune has done it again (see image above). Working on our Goebbels’ vendetta against all things Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, we have now attacked PTI Chairman Imran Khan while he’s down (literally).

The PTI Chairman injured his back just days before the elections.

Can it get any more evil than asking our cartoonist Sabir Nazar to target an injured man, when all he wants to do is go see his children in the UK during the few weeks they get off from school? Who cares if there is wall-chalking up in NA-56 demanding to know where the man they elected is?

This is blasphemy! Sacrilege!

Let’s leave aside the fact that Sabir Nazar is not dictated to, or controlled editorially in what he draws (freedom of speech and all that).

Let’s also leave aside the fact that The Express Tribune is not a single entity, but a collection of many individuals, a large number of whom are pro-PTI (the web desk alone has two thirds staff who voted for PTI. The person editing this piece voted for PTI!).

Let’s not assume that the reason ET focuses so much on the PTI and Imran Khan is because a lot of staffers are interested and invested in how this party develops.

No, let’s focus on reporting the cartoon share on Facebook over 50 times in an attempt to beat ET into submission, or hopefully, have their page shutdown. No kidding, this is actually happening as I’m typing this.

I guess such a childish reaction can be expected from the PTI. We’ve seen such online attacks by the PTI horde before in the form of mass emails clogging up our inboxes. I think there has been enough written about the negative impact of this already. I also think the PTI has made enough attempts to curb this ugly trend online, with little to no success.

It’s time we all accept that this party has at its periphery, a fascist, thug mentality when it comes to the online space.

It’s shameful. We can only hope it doesn’t translate into real-life, though there are already signs of this happening.

I leave the PTI trolls with some more delightful cartoons by Sabir Nazar to rage over!

PS: to answer the question in the headline — I get paid nothing to write blog posts (unless it enters the top five of the week, in which case I get paid Rs1,000). I get a little more for opeds, but you get the picture — anyone who thinks writing pays fantastically with bags full of money being regularly exchanged between political parties and media folk really needs a reality check.

Read more by Jahanzaib here or follow him on Twitter @jhaque

Jahanzaib Haque

Jahanzaib Haque

News buff and Web Editor, The Express Tribune. Jahanzaib tweets @Jhaque_ twitter.com/jhaque_

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

  • Asad Khan

    PTI’s base is mostly right wing religious minded people and they are as it is not big fans of facts and rational thought,so any critique is met with accusations of a conspiracy.Recommend

  • Tahira masood

    Why were people expecting rationality from imran khan’s fans? Logic,reason and critical thinking are not a big hit with the clean shaven Talibans in our society.They are more at ease hurling accusations,insults at anyone who disagrees with them.Recommend

  • Irfan Siddiqui

    Typical cult mentality,thinking anyone who criticises your leader must be taking bribes from someone,this mentality is not limited to PTI people,it’s found in abundance in the party of the ‘middle class’ of Karachi.Recommend

  • IKian

    Its allowed for everyone to say what they feel but when PTI members and supporters do this, they name us trolls. Umar Cheema and others who continuously target PTI and when we present our argument, we are retweeted with troller caption or we have to face blocking. Social media is for everyone, have patience to bear others before targeting them. Recommend

  • Rehan khan

    Signs of this happening? In a month? Woah you’re too quick in judging! Btw these pictures/cartoons are really ridiculous! Recommend

  • Asjad

    Seems like an EYE to EYE with PTI. Ex-lover of PTI vs the ones who truly understood what tabdili is.Interesting I say.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    All of this over some Facebook comments? Come on. Just like ET is full of different individuals with different opinions, so is PTI. A very petty blog, sorry to say.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/bohotsaara Sarah B. Haider

    10/10 for Jay!!Recommend

  • Question

    Of course supporters will defend their leader!!Recommend

  • Sadaf

    @Noman Ansari:
    All what? he didn’t report them or condemn them.
    he’s showing them how silly they look and why
    its important for these “supporters” to see who they areRecommend

  • Zoaib

    Well, be rest assured whether it’s PTI supporters or not, when people find anything offensive, they’ll make it known. Of course not condoning any of the more abusive/overly aggressive comments, but as you want people to not judge ET by some of their staff’s articles, so should you keep the same standard for PTI whose supporters come from all backgrounds. Cheers :)Recommend

  • Usama

    off course your cartoonist cant put up anything what he wants, someone does approve his work, why blame him then?Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Jahanzaib-Haque/149352001744540?ref=ts Jahanzaib Haque

    @Noman Ansari:

    “All of this” over a worrying trend that has been established and documented (this blog being a part of that documentation).

    I agree that PTI is full of different individuals, which is why I said “periphery”.


  • Noman Ansari

    Meh. I just ignore them.Recommend

  • Ali Tipu

    Waiting for your cartoonist to sketch something similar about ‘Bhai’ and then be displayed on the main pages of ET. Brave enough, eh or just moun ke fire?Recommend

  • JH’s bro

    Come on bro! There are better ways to gain popularity.Recommend

  • Ameer

    And yet the PTI has taken over the ‘elites’. Anyone who got out in Karachi on voting day saw that. The ‘burger’ class that challenged the Bhai are amongst the most educated people in society.

    And remember freedom of speech? You cited it in your own article. You call us trolls;

    Oh and btw, try writing the same article about ‘Those Who Must Not Be Named’ Mr. Freedom-of-Speech.Recommend

  • Racer

    You’ll be getting a 1000 bucks this week Jehanzeb.Recommend

  • mm

    Interesting to know people take PTI supporters so seriously. A few re posts on fb form the basis of this article, how ridiculous it is. Dear writer, there are many more important issues in our country that need attention, can you please focus on them rather than PTI bashing?Recommend

  • GhostRider

    To get votes and sympathies Imran khan visited quetta balst victims before the election. On recent bombing no even a single word was uttered by Imran Khan. Let me tell you the reality Imran khan is pro-taliban but he hides the reality behind the liberal faces like shireen mazari, asad omar and fauzia kasuri.Recommend

  • Jawad

    niharian? @Asad Khan: Recommend

  • Queen

    Just one question, Why don’t we see similar cartoons about a certain political leaders having political base in Karachi??Recommend

  • Waqas Ahmad

    Mr Jehanzeb, I really don’t know whether the PTI supporters are showing a childish reaction or not, but I’m certainly sure now that this article is well depicting your childish nature. Your work is to write, and people will criticize if they do not find it fit with the reality… Whats the big deal in it? Show some tolerance, and also respect their “freedom of speech” (as you would expect for yours).Recommend

  • Shamy

    @Noman Ansari:
    isn’t that the purpose of a blog ? that’s exactly why its a blog !Recommend

  • Ovais

    and we destroy the only true honest pakistani we all know off. I am not a PTI supporter but Imran is an honest leader he doesn’t deserve to be disgraced like this . for all he has done is to make this country proudRecommend

  • https://twitter.com/AamAwam Ms. Farooqi

    @Jahanzaib Haque:
    You can only use the same method once or twice.
    Dont you think its also becominga trend to get PTI supporters aggitated and get the ratings?

    However I agree PTI need to tame its supporters. People need to learn cartoons are just mere sarcasm. You need to think, understand and laugh at jokes sometimes. It can’t be my way or highway all the time.
    You need to learn some ethics you get to make a social media profile dpoesn’t mean you all can go out and start cyber bullying thats a freaking crime!Recommend

  • Talat Haque

    Makes one smile!Recommend

  • Rehan khan

    Well btw your cartoonist jab a freedom of speech but the supporters don’t? What an immature blog! It’s a disgrace to the leader, irrespective of the political differences. You voted for pti or you didn’t, you should respect the leader who literally faced death. And yeah, how about if your ‘cartoonist’ makes a cartoon on our PM going to china with his family & entire cabinet?! Shame! Recommend

  • waqas

    dude… get real. this isnt just abt pti. every party has this kinda behavior. Recommend

  • Hira Sayem

    It’s disturbing how easy it is for PTI supporters to get agitated. A cartoonist’s job is to poke fun of the ridiculous; as it is a journalist’s job to report and remark on events that effect society- and it seems everyone’s doing their job pretty OK.
    PTI is in the limelight because of certain events under their watch which they assured us they could take care of. We’re just waiting. And watching. Is all. Recommend

  • Ahmad A

    Jahanzeb, and the comments to your blog prove your point!!!!! Good work.

    They can comment as they wish, but they ain’t realising they have proven you right!!! KudosRecommend

  • lahori

    People think they will become famous if they will write against PTI and it is true…. because you will get maximum hits if article is about PTI or IK… and surprisingly writers mark their readers as stupid and dont expect any troll from them…. be rational Recommend

  • Overseas Pakistani in the US

    Here is my problem with ET, if they were eqaully critical of other political parties (PML-N,MQM or ANP) then I would have no problem with it, absolutely Imran Khan nor the PTI is infallible, but the little mistakes of the PTI and Imran are magnified, while the gross negligence, dishonesty and corruption of the PML-N especially is muted, AND TO BE HONEST ET’s ATACKS ON PTI GIVE ME MORE RESOLVE, AS AN OVERSEAS PAKISTANI, I COUNTER YOUR PROPOGANDA BY DONATING MORE TO THE PTI, I STARTED OF DONATING US$10/Month two years ago that has now grown to US$40/monthRecommend

  • rania

    setting PTI-ites pretty little rears on fire, are we?Recommend

  • Sceptic

    … I think PTI’s cyber support was nothing more than a phenomenon gone viral… not much different from Gangnam Style, One Pound Fish, or more recently eye-to-eye…
    as this fever (PTI) didn’t last much either… for instance take this very piece… had it been posted say on the May 14… the comments section of this blog would have been looking bloodied…
    It looks entirely a different story now….
    In short all that wave was a momentary fever that didn’t amount to anything in the end, neither votes nor lasting following…Recommend

  • Usman

    Feel sorry for the childish blog of the writer. To get fame, he is bashing PTI and Imran Khan. Yaar blog baray blog likhnay ki jaga koi constructive blog b likh lia kero. Recommend

  • fahd

    It is crazy to see how many supposedly intelligent people make such a big deal out of social media. Abuse on social media is not unique to Pakistan, just check out how much abuse Bill O’ Reilly or Rachel Maddow draws from the opposite side in the US. Or various anchors and journalists in India, or for that matter anywhere in the world. You never see foreign journalists complain about social media, because they realize that its the nature of the beast…social media gives you an anonymity and comfort which makes it easier to behave in such a way. In Pakistan internet users are heavily dominated by PTI supporters, so it appears that most abuse comes from them. If most internet users were PML-N supporters, you would be calling PML-N a fascist party. Our media people really need to grow up !! Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi

    BTW, IK’s body armor will be perfectly complemented with a mask worn by a machete wielding Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th Series)…Buhahahahahahahahahaha! Someone ought to make a cartoon on that as well :-pRecommend

  • Parvez

    PTI is the new kid on the block…………….and so will get picked on.
    They have yet to get their act together ……….the sooner they do the better for them.
    The first cartoon was in extremely poor taste.

  • http://chotanchetan.com KFC ka Chicken

    While i might criticize the quality of the blog itself.. journalistically (sic) speaking however, Jay seeking popularity has got to be the most absurd comment! For what? His Jay’s Toons are the cat’s meow and he has more followers than most of your twitterati combined..

    I mean saying he is doing for cheap publicity… is like dude.. you need to get your brain checked! He is the freaking web editor.. he already has probably seen it all.. and the view from up there is pretty lonely..

    Although i voted for PTI as well… I am going to state it because people would bash me into submission for voting for Ganjas.. but you guys sometimes are the worst bigots.. and yes yes i am not generalizing for all but most of us continue to bash not just any body with a different opinion but also a different voice.. (case in point taher shah)… you had your fun now its over guys.. please talk some sense.. with no nons in it please!Recommend

  • http://. Abid P. Khan

    “setting PTI-ites pretty little rears on fire, are we?”
    We can understand the Danes now.Recommend

  • Subhan

    Mr. Haque
    Looks like you are quite inspired by Nusrat Javed of Bolta Pakistan.
    You sound like a ragged man living in street when you talk about your earnings. Please start appreciating what you have. And why are you talking about your earnings at all? No one will give you a penny for anything. A payee is always the guy with the magic wand. Magic spells take effect everywhere. You are not an exception.
    Do i need to remind you that articles written by even talat hussain are ‘corrected’ before publishing? Evidently, there are some powers more powerful than freedom of expression.
    So, please dont try to challenge a common man’s perception without proof. Even if bags full of money are rarely exchanged, wouldn’t that be sufficient?
    There were two lists presented in Supreme courts. Only one was declassified. Who do you think was protected? Those who received bags full of money. Common sense.
    And i am fed with up with objections at abusive PTI supporters. What do you think should a helpless common man do? If he wants to give the monarchs a bad title, so be it. Its freedom of expression. The use of special language dates back to pre-partition era. Bhutto and Shahbaz Shareef pioneered it in Pakistan after all. How is it wrong when PTI does the same?
    And start flying a bit lower. Its the same express group where scam tales of jokers like Ammar Afzal and
    were proudly covered. Amazingly, the editors fell for it. No apology to date. Will you please make sure that you talk about mistakes of ET (at least) in your next blog? That will be great.

    Finally, let me teach you something here. The word troll has a meaning. If you know how to consult a dictionary, you shall learn that a troll is somebody who puts a bait to start an argument or creates chaos and then vanishes. So, its YOU who is the troll here. Happy trolling.
    I beg the mods to let the last part of my message be posted – at least. I am a PTI fanboy and I am not abusive.Recommend

  • Mahnoor

    Ofcourse we will support our Leader…Recommend

  • Np

    Asad Omar is indeed liberal. But Shireen Mazari? Really?she used to be the editor of The Nation which is as right wing a newspaper as you can possibly come up with.Recommend

  • http://Lahore Salman

    What? Pti supporters are posting against a cartoon on facebook? They are abusing online?. I hope it doesn’t have any long lasting effect on the poor targets. I think ET should start a fund to hire some counsellers to make sure these brave yet delicate bloggers, journalists and cartoonist are able to properly process the words being written against them and continue to remain fully functional members of the online community!

    Get real mate. If you think abuse and trolling can be removed from the internet, then you really dont understand the internet.

    What makes me laugh is how sensitive people get about online trolling. “Oh no. Pti are abusing online. The sky is falling! The space time continuum is collapsing!! ”

    Man up dude. Recommend

  • Khan

    Can ET dare to name the “Important Political Worker” or talk about their investigation which is taking place. We already know your power in this case. You are giving much of your precious time to PTI only. Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/Yousaf_Manzoor Falcon

    Jahanzeb Yaar-
    I am surprised you took this whole episode so seriously? Your choice of words is also unusually harsh? The blog seems to be a slightly confusing mix of defense, diversion, and anger. ET might be over-critical of PTI at times but ET is also the newspaper that provides the highest level of coverage to PTI…PTI targets younger demographics which also happens to be your targeted segment as well, so why sweat? you guys are good at what you do, just keep it up. Recommend

  • Haris Chaudhry

    Whilst agreeing with the gist of your blog, I sort of agree with a few commentators here that I have never seen any cartoons of certain ‘influential’ politician (who happens to be outside Pak) within your paper and that we find all other pollies and specially PPP, PTI, PML(N) et al very easy to illustrate with plenty to poke fun at.

    I have always congratulated your paper and the courage it shows in discussing ‘taboo’ subjects and in opening up that space within Pakistan however it is also true that you need to muster enough courage to treat all politicians the same – specially where illustrative-cartoons (ridicules) are concerned.

    Only then we would regard ET as truly balanced on that front !


  • x MBA LSE

    @Tahira masood: i thought IK is accused being closer to jews although AAZ and NS have kept money in their country (UK and west) to support them while Pak is defaulting. Re seeing pic of religious fanatics with N league in elections. in fact they are much closer to them and it was a clever on part of NS team to offer KPK govt to PTI where its impossible to perform due to law and order situation (war on terror & drone) which remain federal subject.Recommend

  • ali shah

    So what’s the difference between you and the pti trolls, it seems there isn’t one. i personally have never targeted or cursed any one on social media and i am a PTI supporter.Recommend

  • Mujtaba

    Whoah… I can see the level at which PTIans are fuming. Accept the fact that if u consider MQM ‘bullies’ and ‘target-killers’, then u guys have the same attributes on social media.. ‘Na-Maloom Afrad’ can equally be matched by your ‘fake’ IDs through which you guya bash anyone who speaks against ur party or leadership. So much for change.Recommend

  • http://www.seoscorpio.com Raheel

    PTI supporters are the best in calling names. Most of them never call nay political leader by his/her original name. If you didn’t notice it yet. Start noticing it today.Recommend

  • http://www.seoscorpio.com Raheel


    Tabdili as understood by unbiased ppl


  • Raheel

    @Waqas Ahmad:

    What would you call this article


  • Raheel


    is kay baray my kia khayal hay??


  • saira

    @Mr Jahanzain Haque
    Such a waste of time blogRecommend

  • mind control

    I think at one point of time supporters of Hazrat Sir Zaid Hamid were equally virulent.

    Their fervor has dimmed somewhat.

    The fervor in favor of the Knight in White Flannel will dim too.

    Give it some time.Recommend

  • Raheel

    @mind control:

    lol.. very true……..hum daikhingayRecommend

  • MOF

    Lets put it this way. The war against the Pakistani Taliban wasn’t won while the US and NATO allies were in Afghanistan. With them scheduled to start their withdrawal isn’t it essential to do whatever we can to end the war at least inside our own borders? They are negotiating with them inside Afghanistan and when they leave we are not likely to get whatever economic or military assistance we used to get (peanuts or otherwise).

    Either launch an offensive, negotiate or use a combination of the two. Negotiation together with military pressure alongside to force them to the negotiation table is probably the most efficient. By their lone selves neither approach would work. We a aren’t fighting an organised state but a militancy, so the military effort needs to be combined with diplomacy, propaganda to erode their support (don’t tell me they don’t have any since they do get recruits from somewhere) and economic development.

    We need to get our act together before time turns against us.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/haroondilshad Haroon Dilshad ツ (@HaroonDilshad)

    ^^Honestly, how lame is the cartoonist :DRecommend

  • Mrs. Chishti

    I don’t know about you, but I always sit with a tissue box with me whenever I watch a political program or read blogs and opinions of journalists. You never know when the heartless savages of the PTI will attack them and make them cry; thus, I am always prepared for that heart wrenching scene.

    You know, the scene where they glance at their phones, press a few buttons, and realize that they have been called bad words or unapproved by PTI! Oh my God how that breaks their hearts! Of course on programs they must play it brave & must say that it doesn’t affect their “health” at all, but you see their faces, you know it does! How could you PTI?! Poor souls, they can’t even cry their heart out on the set!

    They have even tried whining, I mean complaining, yes complaining to Imran Khan & other PTI leadership about this horrendous issue! After all, Imran Khan is the one that controls the hands & feet & brains of all the PTI supporters right? But did he put a stop to this? No! He only put out a video on social media etiquettes, and discouraged it in every TV program, as if that’s enough?! He totally should have made a “murgha” out of them! Or at least he should have made them all write “I am sorry dearest Journalists” a million times no?! But of course he didn’t do that! He is totally supporting them!

    Why can’t PTI simply accept the fact that journalists and anchors are always, yes always, completely impartial and unbiased? They never ever ever, like EVER, accept bribes from anyone or become mouthpieces for any one. Why can’t these PTI savages understand that anchors’ freedom of speech means complete acceptance of their views? Why can’t PTI trolls understand that their freedom of speech stops when they start to criticize the journalist’s opinion-facts? Do they not know that social media is only there to make positive reviews and “good job” comments?

    So, PTI family please stop picking on these poor souls and causing them heartache! Treat them gently, you know, like you treat a 5 year old…Recommend

  • salman k

    i agree the first cartoon was in a bad taste
    btw when are we getting cartoons on na maloom afraad and bhai.
    The fact is liberals are a tiny fragment of our society which has no political value at all.Recommend

  • ismail z

    just observed the the cartoonist has no clue…drone attacks don’t happen in kpkRecommend

  • Bilal

    Love PTI and thats it, Haters are their to hate, Cartoonist is their to make his money and get famous, Thats itRecommend

  • Talat Haque

    Agree with the idea that it was a good [bad] idea to let PTI rule KP ………… set up to fail! …….. why can’t the Taliban have a cunning plan to export ‘niswar’ to the west ……. make some money and have the west spitting all over the place! Recommend

  • http://. Abid P. Khan

    ……. But Shireen Mazari? Really?she used to be the editor of The Nation which is as right wing a newspaper as you can possibly come up with.”

    It once again shows the political acumen of the youthful PTI and its leadership. Recommend

  • sawera khan

    Im a pti supporter and i never abused anyone, Recommend

  • Ek Pakistani

    Express tribune .. there is a saying..

    ” JAISA KARO GAI WAISA BHARO GAI ” Remember this

    and stop behaving like a ignorant child.

    Ek PakistaniRecommend

  • usama

    i m a PTI supporter but i dont mind from these cartoons .
    I think it is go0d for those who are anti-PTI as this will pour some smile & happiness on their faces and their depression will be reduced as their leaders have screwed or i can say Fu*ked their daily life :pRecommend

  • Hania

    Seriously? I am a PTI supporter but im really dissapointed with this blogs material.Recommend

  • Hannan

    What kind of article is this? Recommend

  • Sameer Afzal

    PTI kids are the most intolerant of the lot. But I guess that makes sense since Facebook had them believe that they would win in a landslide. What they don’t realize is that most Pakistanis aren’t on Facebook. That is something that only the priveleged elite (PTIs vote bank) has. And their answer to the ground realities? Everyone who voted anything other than PTI is ‘jaahil’. This is Pakistan. People here don’t vote for you because your hashtag is trending. They vote for someone who talks about their issues and offers to resolve them. Recommend

  • Rasheed Khalid

    Sabir Nazar is right.Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Jahanzaib Haque:

    You do believe in free press. cartoons highlight the parody of current political state of Pakistan. IK was a great cricket player but a lousy politicians. He is a political flip flopper.Recommend

  • H.Ali

    East and west PTI is the best…………………U need more than cartoons to make it count…………Recommend