The emerging political party PTI is struggling to expand its vote bank, for which it is holding various public meetings before the next general elections. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insafs’ rallies were helpful in accelerating its public image. But the last one held at Rawalpindi on August 13, has unfortunately tarnished its image considerably. This was because of the loose talk used by Sheikh Rashid. Social ethics do not permit me to quote his words here. This is not the first time he has used offensive language; in the past he frequently reverted to such objectionable language in public meetings.

Imran Khan’s presence on the stage created an impression of his tacit approval for this name calling. Imran could have immediately dissociated himself from the obnoxious remarks made by Sheikh Rashid; despite all this, the meeting failed to pull in a large crowd. I had the chance to attend a public meeting of the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto before he came to power, where late Mir Rasool Bux Talpur become over emotional and made scathing remarks against PPP’s opponents. When ZAB, came to the dais, he repudiated him in mild tones, but it was clear that he did not condone such language or behaviour.


Karachi, September 2.