A photo of former Pakistani cricketer and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan has reportedly gone viral on social media. In the picture, Imran Khan is depicted as Lord Shiva. The matter has raised protests and objections among Pakistani Hindus and according to reports, there was an uproar in the Parliament over the issue.
According to reports, the morphed image of Imran Khan as Lord Shiva has appeared on April 8th in a Facebook page titled ‘We love Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and PML(N). This was supposedly a fan page for the Nawaz Sharif’s party created by his supporters.
The picture went viral soon and several Hindu Pakistanis started condemning the image. There were demands to take the page down and people stated that the picture was deeply hurtful to the sentiments of Hindu citizens of Pakistan. Several Muslim individuals too have reportedly condemned the image.
According to reports, the image was meant to show Imran Khan as a sympathiser of Hindus and was meant to insinuate that he is not close to Muslims. Pakistan is scheduled to have general elections this year and the leading parties are campaigning intensely nowadays.
But the image has backfired on the political supporters of PML(N) and the outrage has also reached the Pakistani Parliament. Members of the People’s party of Pakistan which is run by the Bhuttos have accused the PML(N) of hurting the sentiments of Hindus. Parliamentarian Naresh Lal stated that the image is deeply offensive to more than four million Hindus living in Pakistan. Another parliamentarian Lal Chand Malhi stated that the image is part of a vicious online campaign to target the minority Hindus in Pakistan.
Following the uproar, the speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq directed the interior ministry to take action on any groups or individuals involved in posting blasphemous material aimed to hurt Hindus.
Imran Khan’s PTI has stated that his party fully supports Hindus and such material is being generated and propagated by his political opponents.