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PTI leaders, social media team argue over propaganda against Shahid Afridi

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ISLAMABAD: In an unexpected face off, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Sher Afzal Marwat and Ali Muhammad Khan conflicted with their party’s social media team on X, formerly Twitter, over veteran cricketer Shahid Afridi.

The two politicians blamed PTI’s social media team for propagating a malicious campaign against the former skipper of the Pakistan Men’s Cricket team, while the controversy against him stirred after a video of Afridi began circulating on X.

In the video, the former captain speaks about the vote of no confidence against then-prime minister and PTI founder Imran Khan, the promises he made before assuming power in 2018 and what his government delivered instead.

Afridi made these comments when he was in London in 2022 to raise funds for his charitable organisation.

After the video went viral, Imran Khan’s supporters and social media team started criticising Afridi.

Marwat terms campaign ‘false and irrelevant’

Marwat, taking the matter into account, blamed PTI’s social media team for the propaganda, requesting them to say good things about Afridi.

“I personally confirm that the campaign against Shahid Afridi is false and irrelevant,” said the PTI leader on X on March 23.

“I know that Shahid Afridi holds Imran Khan in high regard and the propaganda against Shahid Afridi seems to be in the hands of those who want to settle a personal score with him.”

The picture shows a screenshot of a tweet. — X/@sherafzalmarwat
The picture shows a screenshot of a tweet. — X/@sherafzalmarwat

In his latest tweet, Marwat said that he wants to “clarify that after watching Imran Riaz Khan v-logs and tweets and past statements of Shahid Afridi, I believe he was reckless at some points”.

“Nevertheless, We must honour each other’s right of expression and ought to avoid heads on over petty issues,” he added.

The picture shows a screenshot of a tweet. — X/@sherafzalmarwat
The picture shows a screenshot of a tweet. — X/@sherafzalmarwat

Meanwhile, Ali Muhammad Khan said that both Imran Khan and Shahid Afridi are national heroes.

“Shahid Afridi has always considered the PTI founder as a hero and has repeatedly stated that,” said Ali, adding that if any statement made by Afridi is inappropriate then that would be his personal opinion.

Mashwani asks Marwat to delete his tweet

PTI’s social media activist Azhar Mashwani reacted to Marwat’s statement on Afridi and social media team, saying that he should delete his tweet.

Citing Marwat’s statement about reacting to false propaganda from PTI’s platform, Mashwani said that PTI’s platform promotes Imran Khan’s narrative, not propaganda.

The picture shows a screenshot of a tweet. — X/@Mashwaniazhar
The picture shows a screenshot of a tweet. — X/@Mashwaniazhar

Mashwani told Marwat if he has any complaint about party’s internal matter then he has all kinds of forums to raise the issue.

“Every other day you [Marwat] issue a statement on a party leader or an internal party issue which diverts the attention of our supporters on social media from important topics and groups with different views start fighting each other,” he added.

‘Imran Khan was my idol’: Afridi

On the other hand, Afridi, while speaking about the criticism, said that it has become difficult to differentiate between truth and lies.

“The difference between a journalist and troll is that the former investigates as slandering someone is the easiest thing to do,” said the former cricketer.

“I stand by my words that Imran Khan was my role model and I started playing cricket because of him, otherwise, I would not have become a cricketer. My narrative will not change because of lies and propaganda and neither it will serve the PTI or Imran Khan,” he wrote while posting journalist Imran Riaz’s tweet.

The picture shows a screenshot of a tweet. — X/@Mashwaniazhar

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