Yes, Imran Khan and his ex-wife are attention seekers. One has never come across anyone who declares his intent to marry, and twines that intent with his politics, from atop a container to a crowd of thousands, or viewers in their millions. Nor does one know of any other political leader’s spouse circulate their ‘good wife’ videos cutting tomatoes and serving tea. Many an example abound of the unwise opening up of their private lives, not least Mr. Khan’s avowal on national television to divorce his wife if she asked for an expensive gift.

Yet, what was on display on the electronic and social media on Friday after the announcement of what is a tragedy in any human being’s life, was no less than a horror show. Before gleefully running packages of past clips (no matter how odious their politics, false narratives and lies had been), adding stinging item songs to news running for 12 hours, or speculating and apportioning blame, none thought of the pain it might cause to either of the two people involved or their respective children.

It appeared as if none of the editorial staff or television anchors and pundits had ever experienced personal loss. Whether through death, divorce, separation or break-up, the loss of a loved one is the deepest cut a human being can experience. Mercy for the vast majority of us, we are not in the public eye, and did not have to have salt rubbed into our wounds after experiencing such losses; mercy of God, our faces were not rubbed in sewage for suffering tragedy; mercy we weren’t taunted by the whole world in front of the whole world for having lost the love of our lives; mercy we weren’t castigated for the personal bad decisions we all make every day. Who does not know what I speak of? Where has human compassion for suffering gone? In such situations, everything crashes and burns: one’s life, emotions, dignity, pride, self worth. If not help, the least others can do is desist from making the pain worse. Unfortunately it seems, we are not made of that material. We will revel and make an all out effort to make the misery for another human being worse.

To the extent of the bad optics and bad timing Mr. Khan has foolishly indulged in time and again, and opened himself up to criticism, discussion might have been justified. His habitual lies, be they in the matter of politics or personal life, could make for justified discussion.

What was not correct was the way everyone became experts on other peoples’ private lives. Yes, those people opened their private lives up for public consumption foolishly, but what about the rest of us being able to tell the difference between politics and pure, unadulterated viciousness?

The most painful was jubilation from Mr. Khan’s own followers and friends. Alas, he has nurtured and fed many a snake in the sleeve.

Barring one prominent politician from the PML-N and one from the PPP, opponents remained largely mindful of the sensitivity of the PTI leader’s and his wife’s feelings. The horror broke with the unfeeling invectives, analyses and preaching of their own current and erstwhile (in the media) supporters. Most expressed glee. One senior journalist who is a great friend of Mr. Khan’s explained in detail what was wrong with his wife, as well as his previous wife, and why he should never have married either, his every sentence dripping misogyny. His entire polemic revealed how not just a man, but his friends and his political party are rightful decision makers of what his wife may or may not do. Not a single thought did this friend give to how his words might hurt the woman who lost her love (the same woman he outrageously called Madr-e-millat when she was still married to Imran Khan), how he might be hurting the children (and they are children after all) who were thrust into the midst of things; no thought to the misery of the children who were first thrust in front of the media as the First Children in Waiting, and now banished unceremoniously from the palace their mother had paraded them in for magazine covers.

This nation has plumbed many depths of depravity, but the insensitivity and hurtful commentary on display at a time of what is considered a time of grieving in every culture the world over, takes the cake.

Make no mistake, I remain a ferocious critic of Mr. Khan’s and his party’s political policies, but I only ask that we draw a line at the personal, human level.