PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz actively uses Twitter where she has a huge following. Her five million-plus followers on the popular microblogging site are not just party supporters but also media persons, political commentators, bloggers and politicians.
Anything she tweets goes viral on social media immediately – means the objective is achieved in no time. But this is what caused her huge embarrassment on Friday.
The Express Tribune published a report, “Pakistan’s budget has lost credibility: World Bank” in its Friday’s edition.
Maryam shared the report on her Twitter handle with a tweet in Urdu, “The real performance of incompetent and incapable [govt]”.
The tweet immediately went viral on the microblogging site as it was retweeted by thousands of her followers and sympathisers.
It is understood that neither Maryam nor any of her followers had read the story as they shared it on Twitter believing the World Bank report was about the “dismal” performance of the economic team of the ruling PTI.
However, that wasn’t the case. The report was based on what the global lender says “an objective assessment of Pakistan’s public finance management system and its budgets from fiscal year 2015-16 to 2017-18”.
Meaning the report was a critique on the economic policies of the PML-N government, led by now jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan ‘thanked’ Maryam for “highlighting their [PML-N’s] worst performance ever in the history of Pakistan”.
After realising the faux pas, Maryam deleted the tweet from her Twitter handle after almost four hours – but not before discerning users had already saved screenshots of her tweet.
Senator Faisal poked fun at Maryam for deleting the tweet, saying “No need to delete the tweet. You did the right thing and you should be proud of it for telling the truth. People loved it and praised you.”
Hundreds of PTI supporters and leaders used Maryam’s faux pas to heap criticism on the PML-N with Punjab minister Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chauhan saying that the PML-N has Maryam’s obsession with Twitter to blame for the sorry state of the party.
Takeaway from this episode: Read before you tweet or retweet.