As Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) finds itself in the media spotlight over the recent reshuffling of the federal cabinet, there also seems to be unrest brewing among the party’s social media cadre and supporters.
Days after former finance minister Asad Umar turned down Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer to head the energy ministry and resigned from the federal cabinet, PTI’s social media activists led by Farhan Virk have launched a campaign against Umar and his alleged plans of an intra-party power grab.
The campaign has now caught the attention of the party’s senior leadership and calls for its end are picking up pace. On Sunday, senior PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen took to Twitter to express solidarity with Umar and strongly condemned the Virk-led campaign.
Tareen’s show of support may come as a surprise to many observers as recent reports have alluded to an ever-growing rift between two groups within the PTI.
The South Punjab leader condemning the party’s leading social media warrior was also an unusual occurrence and sceptics believe it could be part of a greater smoke-and-mirrors strategy.
For his part, Virk responded to Tareen’s tweet with assertions of sincerity and said that he stands by his comments against the former finance minister.
The controversy started with Virk’s video message in which he accuses Umar of making moves to garner support for an alleged coup within the PTI.