PTI Govt has been in power for the past 15 months and it’s media handling is badly failed due to different power centers and conflicting approach of media advisers. In the first phase we had Fawad Chaudhry in center and Fayyaz Chohan in Punjab, both were daring and tough speakers and had the ability to silence the opposition but as time both were criticized from within the PTI ranks and waves of conspiracy theories were spreading in Bani Gala against them. Incompetent old guards of Imran Khan took charge and initially, Fayyaz Chohan and Fawad Chaudhry lost their respected jobs. The opposition was relieved and they start bashing Khan’s Government and successfully spreading their narrative of “incompetence” successfully.
Nadeem Afzal Chan was also in media team although not very efficient as he never responded to Bilawal’s onslaught criticism against the Prime Minister of Pakistan. During talk shows he had a soft corner in response to PPP’s hard words against Imran Khan. Firdous Ashiq Awan comparing with all other media spokespersons was more daring and lethal compared to the previous media team. But she proved to be a lone rider who was unable to pull the strings efficiently as a single warrior and she required a team player like Fawad Chaudhry in media ranks in order to answer the strong media teams of opposition. Ifitkhar Durrani, Umar Sarfraz Cheema, Uzma Kardar and some other MNAs from Islamabad/Rawalpindi are eligible to represent PTI’s soft image but not as much effective to answer the hard criticism by Azma Bukhari, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Khurram Dastgir Khan.
Even during days of Fawad Cahudhry, he was not coming to the shows with proper preparations and where Marriyum Aurangzeb was always dominant, Fawad on the other hand had nothing to do except low smiles. Till date, there is not a single person from PTI ranks who could represent Khan with conviction and full energy. The only name who surfaced and reached to the top ranks of media in Punjab was Shahbaz Gull but he also fell to the typical politics of PTI and was out of the media ranks. He was successfully not only representing Punjab and Usman Buzdar but was also heavy on likes of Azma Bukhari, Nabeel Gabool and Talal Chaudhry.
In close circles of PMLN and PPP all were upset from Dr. Shahbaz Gill due to his response with proper knowledge on PTI and their projects. Imran Khan’s federal government was also relieved due to his presence on national networks more effectively. He was a single man army but was fully loaded with bad and weak points against PMLN and PPP even some renowned anchors were not happy over his shrewd responses. His exit really was a big defeat for PTI’s media team and we have seen big episodes of weak narratives shared by local representatives of PTI after his exit.
On the digital front Dr. Farhan Virk was single handedly running the show of PTI during opposition days. But since PTI is part of the government there is no social media team effectively defending the PTI government and especially Mr. Khan. There are some lone-soldiers who are running the campaigns against opposition and defending Imran Khan on their own just as supporters of PTI. Ms. Maleeha Hashmey is also one of them who boldly defends PTI and Imran Khan on different social media forums and also on some neighbouring TV channels, even she had a long spat with Hamid Mir and some indian journos on social media. Besides Maleeha, Anwar Lodhi, Marriam’s Madness and Riz Khan and Baji please defends PTI and Imran more convincingly on Twitter. But sadly there is no solid team around of PTI on social media to pull the image of PTI government and PM Imran Khan.
Daily pressers by Firdous Ashiq Awan will not work for a long period, hence PM Imran Khan must take Shahbaz Gill back in his central media team along with Andleeb Abbas, Ali Nawaz Awan, Umar Sarfraz Cheema, Humayoun Akhtar Khan, Asad Umar, Kanwal Shauzab, Sadaqat Abbasi, Sheheryar Afridi etc in order to strengthen the positive image of PTI Government and Imran Khan.
Written by: Imran Malik