Punjab govt footing bill for PML-N social media revamp

Published: July 27, 2012
According to some party officials, team was hired by Punjab govt but utilised solely for PML-N objectives. GRAPHIC: JAHANZAIB HAQUE

According to some party officials, team was hired by Punjab govt but utilised solely for PML-N objectives. GRAPHIC: JAHANZAIB HAQUE


The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has hired two advertisement agencies for publicising and promoting its activities, party sources told The Express Tribune.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the party’s social media politics team after recommendations by the PML-N senior leadership and the Punjab government’s information technology-related officials, they added.

The meeting, chaired by party president Nawaz Sharif, took place at his Raiwind residence.

Punjab Board of Information Technology (PBIT) Chairman Umar Saif gave a presentation to the participants, discussing the PML-N’s current presence on social media and the appeal of the party’s manifesto for the youth.

PML-N constituted its team of social media experts to counter the web presence of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

According to some party officials, however, the team was hired by the Punjab government but has been utilised solely for PML-N objectives.

A well placed source in the PBIT said that two floors of the board’s offices at Arfa Karim Tower were currently occupied by the PML-N’s social media teams, who had been working day and night to accomplish the party’s social media goals.

He confirmed that the workers were hired by the Punjab government under PBIT, along with various other departments like the Punjab Sports Board.

The Punjab government set up a five-member committee last year to spruce up its image with a social media campaign. This team however, is apparently being utilised to promote PML-N’s social media presence.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated “Punjab Board of Investment and Trade” instead of “Punjab Board of Information Technology”. The error has been rectified.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (51)

  • Iram
    Jul 27, 2012 - 10:25AM

    “According to some party officials, however, the team was hired by the Punjab government but has been utilised solely for PML-N objectives”. And they eradicate corruption from this country.


  • Muhammad
    Jul 27, 2012 - 10:27AM

    And the call themselves champions of righteousness! Shame on PML-N


  • Pakistani
    Jul 27, 2012 - 10:39AM

    Is it correct for (Punjab) Government to work for (PML-N) Party


  • Adnan Ali
    Jul 27, 2012 - 10:50AM

    This case epitomises the modus operandi of the Sharif brothers. While PPP is known for blatant kickbacks and commissions, the Sharif brothers use their time in power to milk the state. The fact that they consider it normal to use the state’s resources as their personal resources shows the mentality that trickles down to the common man.

    My worry is that eminent scholars like Dr. Umar Saif have allowed themselves to be dragged into the corrupt methods of PMLN leaders. Why is Dr. Umar Saif, who heads PITB, giving presentations on PMLN’s social media presence and recommending companies to the party? Under his leadership, the Arfa Karim Technology Park has two dedicated floors for PMLN’s social media team hired in different departments of government of Punjab.

    The fact that the tax payer’s money is used to hire resources for a political party should be enough as an example of how PPP and PMLN are the same as ruling parties.


  • Saud
    Jul 27, 2012 - 10:53AM

    Shame on ET for propagating such baseless stories.
    Not a single fact in this story.


  • Nasir Mahmood
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:12AM

    If this is true, ET needs appreciation. If its false, ET should apologize for publishing baseless stories.


  • Kaleem
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:18AM

    Seems like not true. I visited arfa karim tower many times, which floors have been occupied by social media team?


  • Paindoo
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:18AM

    Money can’t buy educated supporters on social media. PTI has 1000s of volunteers almost 24/7 on social media. PMLN is still living in fools paradise.


  • Hasan
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:20AM

    Shame on Pml-n!


  • abdul
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:22AM

    What a shame for PML-N


  • Kaleem
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:24AM

    If two floors are reserved for social media, why dont we see active social media campaigns by PML-N?


  • Adnan
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:24AM

    Shame on Pml-n for such tactics to fight pti!


  • Usman
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:25AM

    Shame on Punjab Governament and Shareef brothers for misusing the public money for their persnal and party projections. shahbaz shareef is spending billions on his personal projection everyday on front pages of leading newspapers. this amount could have been used for people welfare.


  • abdul
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:25AM

    Wat a shame for sharif bros….couldn’t understand the mentality of these brothers


  • Shaheer Malik
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:31AM

    Do whatever you want your time is over?


  • PakistanKaBeta
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:33AM

    @Saud: shame on you for commenting without providing any evidence to the contrary.


  • Naeem
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:35AM

    PMLN should understand that PTI’s media cell was inaugurated few days ago! It’s social media team is totally based on volunteers and honest passion, which money can’t buy or create!


  • PMLN
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:36AM

    Its sad how people leave negative comments without verifying the information. Shame on those who believe everything they read. Ever had a mind of your own, and some common sense. If you can use internet to post comments without getting paid, so can PMLN supporters.


  • m.usama.kabbir
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:38AM

    PTI and PMLN are up in a useless competition. Will only benefit PPP and for good. We do not want a theocracy in Pakistan. PPP all the way


  • Hammad
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:39AM

    I believe Sharifs should stop following PTI. They’ve already been out run by PTI very badly and more they try, more trouble they are going to land into. They should stick to their traditional politics to save face.


  • GhostRider
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:45AM

    Are you from the team hired for social media campaign of PML N


  • Logic Europe
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:52AM

    Twice mr Nawaz brought PPP government down so why he did not cause much trouble till,recently ..? this is the reason .. They CONTROLE 65 percent ofnpakistan and they are using this gold mine to fill their bank accounts , The above example is nothing , 2400 employees at Roywind , khosa steeling furniture , money laundering .london properties ,Dubai KSA ,evidence of corruption everywhere by shareefs


  • Zia
    Jul 27, 2012 - 12:04PM

    PMLN is helpless! No vision, no ideas, only copy cat!


  • popsaeed
    Jul 27, 2012 - 12:09PM

    Again ET is providing good pitch to PTI troll base less logic base less interpertation by ET

    – Did we see any single add in media agaist PTI By PML-N
    – If punjab government want to promote its developing programme then there should no any issue
    – If they hire any advertisement company then why occupy two floor of it tower
    – I think ET has been bribe by PPP for this type of news that both parties will never met for election processRecommend

  • Adnan
    Jul 27, 2012 - 12:32PM

    See every newspaper how much pmln is pending on advertisement its full of pmln adds on form page of every newspaper
    they spending their money or public money??


  • kashif
    Jul 27, 2012 - 1:03PM

    Shame on PMLN, but its a wild goose chase for them . You simply can’t control Social Media. They will fail. PTI’s dominance will continue


  • roadkashehzada
    Jul 27, 2012 - 1:03PM

    just wondering, when Punjab Board of Investment and Trade moved from Aikman road GOR to arfa complex???
    correction ET, this would be PITB (Punjab Information Technology Board). Is this an error or just an indicator of baseless story?? clearly shows that the reporter hasnt been to PITB and filed his report based on unconfirmed sources.


  • MAD
    Jul 27, 2012 - 1:10PM

    Now PMLN trolls will attack ET. Oh wait the4re arnt that many of them to begin with. My prediction Nawaz Sharif will lose his own seat in Lahore next time around :D


  • M. Zubair
    Jul 27, 2012 - 1:36PM

    Another sophisticted story of corruption. Allah have mercy on us!


  • Ahsan Iqbal
    Jul 27, 2012 - 2:16PM

    This story is baseless and malicious. I was present in the meeting which was about planning Independence Day related activities during month of August, 12. I urge upon the management of the newspapers to verify such stories before publication because it is a leading publication. The proof of malafide is evident from the fact that the report didnt even bother to get version of either PMLN or Government of Punjab, which is a standard professional norm and ethic.


  • Javed Shah
    Jul 27, 2012 - 2:20PM

    PMLn forgets that PTI has thousands of volunteers working for it and they are dedicated to it. You can’t beat the didication and commitment of these volunteers. We don’t get money for this but we get big satisfaction.


  • Fahad Khan
    Jul 27, 2012 - 2:28PM

    This is very unfair, unfortunate and unethical that PML-N is using our money for their party projection. I was not expecting that PML-N would fall to such a low level in the desperate efforts to counter PTI. If they could not find volunteers for their Social Media Team, Sharif brothers could easily hire them on their own as they are billionaires. Using tax payers money for personal and party projection is shameful and condemn-able. I hope this issue will be raised and PML-N will be questioned by our national media.


  • saad
    Jul 27, 2012 - 2:41PM

    well for all the blind supporteRs of PMLN if this story is false and baseless then ask ur so called leadership to drag the ET into court. they will never do tha u know that and we all know that so just face the facts rented youth.


  • noora kushti
    Jul 27, 2012 - 2:42PM

    Here is the proof then. You can see some of the posts on here from AK IT towers.


  • Insafian_PK
    Jul 27, 2012 - 3:01PM
  • ali gilani
    Jul 27, 2012 - 3:01PM

    Both brothers are obsolete now. Their way of politics is working against them. They have failed to grasp new realities regarding media freedom. They can’t strong arm their way into power. Whatever power they have left is solely being used to milk the system, as much as they can. Just look at them when they are caught off guard, They are so posessive and controling, nobody from PML(N) can’t dare speak a word of critisism against them. Simply put, they are on the loosing streak and nobody wants to be seen supporting a looser.


  • haroon
    Jul 27, 2012 - 3:07PM

    I think that the pmln nawaz brothers are jalousing from PTI Imran Khan……only one thing every one set in mind that the pmln leader as compare to pti leader is just like a lolly pop kid, Imran Khan is an educated person as he has graduated from the international university (Oxford university). this is the main reason that the youth give prefer to him, and youth don’t give prefer to currupt leader as there is no merit in the country…only family politics is here, those are stronger in the country who have some reference, I am from peshawar and many situation I have seen that an eligible person is rejected and non-eligible one is entered, ignoring the merit. the person belongs to some curupt party, including pmln,ppp and others


  • Hassan
    Jul 27, 2012 - 3:10PM

    Punjab Govt should send notice to ET instead of saying ohhh it has no fact or its baseless….just like what khan did to Financial times in UK and they apologized…..They have no idea whats waiting for them in next elections and afterwards…


  • Jul 27, 2012 - 3:19PM

    There is a Youtube video Available in the wild to prove this News !! Presenting all the facts and making this crystal clear …
    Here it is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDJaUI_-8NQ


  • Mj
    Jul 27, 2012 - 3:43PM

    I guess you can say that PML-Ns social media strategy…backfired.


  • Faraz
    Jul 27, 2012 - 4:28PM

    @M.Aswad Mehtab
    Made by PTI .


  • Jul 27, 2012 - 4:31PM

    Will the PCO Chief Justice take note of this by a suo moto notice? Or is Shahbaz Sharif more dear than Arsalan Iftikhar?Recommend

  • Najam
    Jul 27, 2012 - 5:10PM

    Why PTI mummy daddies are crying, now they should be ready to reap what they have sown.


  • Najam
    Jul 27, 2012 - 5:11PM

    why don’t PTI drag PML(N) for using punjab GOVT’s funds for party?


  • WB
    Jul 27, 2012 - 5:31PM

    Shame on PMLN; note to Nawaz, stop using Punjab as your personal property


  • Aamir
    Jul 27, 2012 - 5:37PM

    This is real frustration of PML(N).Recommend

  • Syed Ali Raza Zaidi
    Jul 27, 2012 - 6:01PM

    Arfa Karim Tower has two floors dedicated to SMT???
    Where in Arfa Karim Tower??? I have been there at least 20 times…
    This one thing is enough to name thise story as an allegation and nothing more.Recommend

  • DevilHunterX
    Jul 27, 2012 - 6:05PM

    Punjab government works for PML (N).

    Sindh government & President House works for PPP.

    <pKarachi government works for MQM.

    So what is new??Recommend

  • Syed Masood Ibrahim
    Jul 27, 2012 - 6:26PM

    Its such a shame to see such accusations being made by an irresponsible group of people in media who support PTI. I am sure PMLN is doing something really right that is why you guys are trying so hard to even write pro PTI articles.


  • King of Darkness
    Jul 27, 2012 - 8:06PM

    Correction.. Khan did to Sunday Times for writing that munter-pasha meeting story and they did apologized and my trust on IK has been reinforced more since then. I have also requested PMLn dudes many times to ask their leader to take action against the leaked wiki-leaks cables and Raymond Baker book just like khan did to Sunday times but I haven’t got any suitable reply as yet other than “nawaz sharif zindabad” and “mian day naaray wajjan”!!… ^_^


  • King of Darkness
    Jul 27, 2012 - 8:07PM

    @Syed Masood Ibrahim:
    what??.. ET supports PTI??.. Really??.. :O


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