06/24/2022

Former PM Imran Khan’s Twitter Address Attracts Listeners In ‘Record Numbers’

Imran Khan's Twitter Space

April 21, 2022 – Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan’s address via Twitter Spaces on Wednesday night attracted hundreds of thousands of listeners from around the world.

Khan’s first-ever Space, which is a live audio feature on Twitter, boasted a staggering 165,000 listeners at a time. The session was also live-streamed on Facebook and Instagram and lasted over an hour. Some PTI members and followers claim that the session was attended by millions of listeners, calling Khan’s Space a “record-breaking” moment in the history of Twitter. According to Arslan Khalid, Khan’s digital media team lead and one of the hosts for last night’s Space, around 500,000 listeners tuned in during the session.

Khan’s virtual address came in the wake of his campaigns against the new government that came into power after he was ousted through a no-confidence vote held on April 10, 2022. Khan had pledged to “turn to the public” if what he called an “imported government” was installed following his removal from the Prime Minister’s office. The PTI leader has since held massive rallies in Peshawar and Karachi. He is set to address a gathering in Lahore today, Thursday, and expects a record number of people. During the session, Khan said that he would attend the rally despite threat alerts from the government.

Khan spoke at length about the Pakistan Army as well and urged his followers to keep respecting the institution. “We would not have survived had it not been for the army. The army is more necessary than Imran Khan.”

Khan went on to reveal that he has stopped reading papers and only watches social media now. Hashtags such as #TwitterTakeover and #ImranKhanLIVE have been trending on Twitter since the Space concluded.

After Khan’s removal from power, campaigns targeting the Pakistan Army and Supreme Court judges were started on social media. The controversial trends were amplified by the tweets made by disappointed and outraged supporters of the PTI. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa had taken notice of the “smear campaigns” as well. 

Later, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) launched a crackdown on the party’s social media activists and detained several men, a few of whom were booked under the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). During the hearing of a petition challenging the arrests, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the FIA to stop harassing PTI’s workers and social media activists. 

 

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