The historic elections are finally over. A significant majority of Pakistanis exercised their right to vote for their favoured parties and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has emerged as the leading party in the national assembly followed by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Predictions made by most analysts have been proven wrong in the wake of elections as Imran Khan’s PTI has emerged as a big political force winning a considerable number of seats in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and in the national assembly. At places where it did not win, it emerged as the runner up with a sizeable number of votes. A lot of Pakistanis cast their votes for the first time in their lives and PTI was the clear favourite of the urban middle class educated Pakistanis. As the results started pouring in, however, there was a widespread display of shock and dismay. Psychology tells us that the first stage of grief is usually denial. Here, this manifested in allegations of massive rigging by the youth on social media. This anger and denial was channeled into hatred of the winning party and all sorts of disgusting memes appeared on the internet in the last 72 hours. The following are some pictures that showcase the ‘sore loser’ and utterly disrespectful attitude shown by a majority of PTI fans. 1. This map was widely circulated on social media. It depicts the point of view of PTI supporters and how they perceive Pakistan as a whole. If anything, it essentially represents the original apolitical side of today’s youthful PTI voter whose hyper-idealism remained confined largely to their urban hang-out places and was rudely awakened by the pragmatism that is bread and butter of electoral/constituency politics. 2. This picture reflects the people of Punjab, who according to PTI fans, prefer qeemay walay naan (bread stuffed with minced meat- a popular meal) over ‘truth, justice and wisdom’. Just because someone exercised their right to vote according to their will, does not mean they are greedy and stupid. This is a shameful expression of anti-Punjab bias shown by Insafians. Ironically, PML (N) won more seats from the districts with top 10 literacy rates in the country than any other party. Lest we forget, the reforms in education system done in Punjab in the last five years have been highlighted by the World Bank. 3. This picture spells out the words, “I belong to a dead nation”. It depicts the loss of hope by disgruntled and self-righteous followers. All the hype and media glitz surrounding the election campaign deluded voters into a false sense of infallibility and the loss of hope is a result of a failed ambition, particularly in Punjab. Educated masses should know that persistence and hard work leads to change. Rome wasn't built in a day and this attitude of giving up promulgates a very negative message to the youth of the country. 4. This is a screenshot of a message written by a PTI fan to Mr Nawaz Sharif’s daughter. Here, the author mocks her and her father for providing taxis to unemployed people. Now what is so bad about helping the less fortunate? This is also the case with most other urbanite PTI fans who think giving incentives to the downtrodden masses (i.e. the actual majority) of Pakistan is shameful. Sadly, this shows that this young generation has A LOT to learn about politics. Is this the sort of bullying they want to see in a ‘Naya Pakistan’? 5. A fake column was written and attributed to a leading writer in Urdu Press, which alleged rigging on part of PML (N). It was later clarified by the writer that he never wrote any such column. This has been a trend with tweets too by some famous journalists. They were manipulated on Facebook and later turned out to be completely fabricated! I understand that supporters are upset that their hero Imran Khan did not come to power, but isn't releasing fake tweets and columns taking it a bit far? Talk about desperation for attention! Better was expected of the educated class. I can’t even begin to mention the countless abuses and cuss words hurled at anyone disagreeing with PTI’s narrative on social media. If you exercised your right to vote for PML-N, you are automatically labelled as a nihari loving paindoo. Why? Do Insafians want a "Naya Pakistan" where people are not given the right to differ from the mainstream opinion? Pardon me if I am wrong, but isn't this the purana Pakistan? Furthermore, numerous caricatures of Nawaz Sharif and his family have been tossed around on the internet, crossing the barrier of decency by a mile. The modern, educated and upper middle class supporters of the ‘party of change’ should not be disgruntled with the fact that Imran Khan is not prime minister. The mere fact that a large number of previously apolitical people are willing to claim their stake in the system is reason enough for hope. Attacking people and insulting them is not a change and I strongly condemn this sort of bullying. The kind of change one should aspire to is a gradual change, patient change, and practical change. Idealism often tends to be rudely awakened by the bitter truth and we must cope with it. Only hard work, persistence and shrewd decision making can make democracy the best revenge towards corruption, nepotism, and misrule. So, to all the disheartened PTI supporters, your party did not lose; in fact, it did very well. Buck up and keep vying for change in a way that is tolerant of other peoples' choice. Read more by Abdul here or follow him on Twitter @abdulmajeedabid
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