Sir: Social media has long been Imran Khan and the PTI’s most potent weapon, until recently, as it was used to challenge the new Prime Minister and his party as well. Imran Ali Shah’s incident created a ripple on social media and it was clear that his behaviour warranted immediate disciplinary action. Yet the PTI and Imran’s reaction to this episode has done them justice, and it would take only a hypocrite to deny that Imran has done well in his first test. Have we not seen politicians and influential people walk away scot-free from any accountability whatsoever for their sheer public misbehaviour? The recent one on the list was Nabeel Gabol, who quite literally abused someone recently, but did PPP give even care? Clearly not. Nevertheless, as Imran proceeded to silence his critics on this issue, they took to social media to put him into warm waters once again. Being critical about the oath-taking-ceremony, these critics say that Imran mispronounced a few words from his oath and had to be corrected by the outgoing President Mamnoon Hussain. To them, it shows Imran’s disregard towards this mega-event. They even found Imran’s laugh over one of his fumbles as contemptuous. Without a shadow of doubt, the oath was written in such complex Urdu that even if Imran had taken it in English, almost the same number of people would have understood it. Having said that, he was definitely caught unprepared. A review would have made things easier for him. As for his smile, the interpretations vary. The sad part is this comparatively shallow criticism puts few major positives on the back-burner. To begin with, our national language was preferred, unlike the last two terms when English took precedence over Urdu. Despite the obscurity of the language, the gesture has far-reaching symbolic significance. Secondly, according to the figures shared from different quarters, a staggering 72 and 92 lacs were ruthlessly taken away from the national exchequer in the larger than life oath ceremonies of 2007 and 2013 respectively, while Imran’s oath cost Pakistan a mere 50 thousand rupees. It goes to show that social media is keeping a strong check on PTI and it is PTI who taught them to do so. Whether or not the opposition remains divided or gets united again, it is social media which is going to play the role of the actual opposition throughout their tenure. VASDEV HEMNANI Tharparkar Published in Daily Times, August 21st 2018.