Balochistan Bloggers Claim ‘Imported’ Social Media Influencers Chosen For Meeting With PM
Bloggers and Youtubers of Balochistan organised a protest outside the Quetta Press Club after the Balochistan government ‘imported’ a team of social media celebrities and introduced them to Prime Minister Imran Khan as online influencers of the province.
This is the second time in a year that the Balochistan government misled PM Imran during his visit to the province. Previously, Balochistan CM Jam Kamal had taken the prime minister to a quarantine centre at Bolan Medical College (BMC) that was hastily established a day ahead of the PM’s arrival.
On Friday, PM Imran made a brief visit to Balochistan to review the losses suffered by various districts in the recent heavy torrential rains that resulted in copious floods, rehabilitation efforts and steps to halt the spread of coronavirus.
After the picture of the social media influencers supposedly ‘hailing from Balochistan’ and the prime minister went viral, the local online influencers lamented the indifference of the provincial government to its own people. They said the people who were taken to meet the premier were seen for the first time in the province.
They alleged that these people belonged to others and the Kamal government hired them for propaganda.
Journalist and social media influencer Bayzeed Kharoti, who is the owner of page ‘Choti Chiryaa’ said that these ‘imported’ people are being paid in millions from the revenue of Balochistan. He said in past, in the past, politicians were imposed on the province, now they are planning to impose a social media team on locals.
Youtuber Zain Pirkani, whose channel was awarded a silver button, said the people sitting with the prime minister in the video were strangers to the people residing in the province. “I struggled for two years to get this status, but I am still ignored,” he lamented.
Maqbool Jaffar, a Quetta-based journalist, said that the work of these ‘artificial social media influencers’ is devoid of any sort of valuable content. He urged the PM to address the grievances of the bloggers.
However, the digital editor of Voice of Balochistan Hamna Malik took to Twitter to dispel these allegations. She added, “None of the social media influencers who attended the meetup with PM Imran Khan on September 11, 2020, in Quetta was an outsider. The official list of participants confirms the above claim. A few ‘settlers’ in the list cannot be considered as outsiders as they are officially the residents of Balochistan, but domicile holders instead of a local certificate.”
Hamna Malik shared the lists with NayaDaur and holds that the demographic makeup of Balochistan should be kept in mind before “assuming that people were imported especially for a meetup. Balochistan is a diverse place and all ethnicities should have rights there.”