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PTI Government Faces Backlash for Airing A Racist Ad on TV

It has hardly been one month since the cricketer turned politician Imran Khan took oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan, and his government has already started facing some controversies. The one month period is indeed not enough to give a final judgment on the Naya Pakistan’s performance. But, the decisions that the new government has made are enough to let the citizens evaluate where does it stand in term of tackling some serious issues. Unfortunately, Imran Khan’s government seems so weak to resolve such serious problems the country is facing and the recent racist ad being aired on TV channels is one such example. The under-discussion advertisement by Pubjab government which aims at spreading awareness against the terrorism and educating citizens on taking precautionary measures has ended up promoting bigotry.

Backlash Against the Racist Ad

The allegedly racist ad, that showed a Pashtoon nationalist leader speaking to the people as promoting hate speech faced a backlash from the people of all ethnic backgrounds.

Mohsin Dawar, an MNA from FATA and prominent PTM (Pashtoon Tahafuz Movement) leader shared this video on Twitter and called upon information minister Fawad Chouhdry for allowing such racist ad to go on air.

Criticism from Twitterati

It was more likely for Mohsin Dawar to notice the ad because the politician is already struggling for the civil rights of Pashtoon people. But he was not the only one to slam government as there were many others who couldn’t resist criticizing the ad for the same reason.

Why They Didn’t Show the Actual Terrorists

The Ad showed Manzoor Pashteen, a Pashtoon nationalist leader who is fighting for discrimination against his community. The critics asked why the ad didn’t show the terrorists like Ihsanullah Ihsan or TLP leader Khadim Rizvi who is popular for spreading hate through his fiery speeches. It was ironic that the man who was fighting for the rights of a particular ethnic group was branded as a hate monger, while there was no mention of religious extremists.

And, people were asking why a man responsible for murdering innocent kids in Peshawar was spared while a human rights activist was depicted as spreading hate speech.

PTI Government’s Inability to Remove the Ad

The information minister of Pakistan, Fawad Hussain said in a tweet that channels were directed not to air the advertisement.

But, according to Moshin Dawar, no action was taken as the advertisement was still being aired on news channels. In another tweet, he asked Fawad Hussain, “If you are not in control, then please tell us who is?”

The racist ad is not the only controversy that Imran Khan’s Naya Pakistan is facing. Recently, it was the economist Atif Mian’s removal from the Economic Advisory Council that made the government face the wrath of critics.

In Pakistan, racism and religious bigotry are mainstream issues, and the government needs to take robust steps to tackle them.

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