Islamabad: A photo of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, the chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), ‘depicted’ as the Hindu god Lord Shiva has reportedly gone viral on social media, triggering outrage among the Hindu community in Pakistan, with the matter also reportedly causing an uproar in the Pakistani parliament. The controversy has also acquired political colours after members of Khan’s PTI party accused supporters of rival Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) of circulating the offensive photograph on social media sites, BBC reported. According to the report, the Parliament in Pakistan was rocked by the furore created over the photograph on Wednesday, with opposition party PPP’s leader Ramesh Lal accusing the ruling party of hurting the religious sentiments of the Hindus, which he said was against the Constitution of the country.
The morphed picture of the PTI leader was apparently posted on a Facebook fan page on April 8, reports said. The page, titled ‘We Love Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and PML(N)’, is supposedly meant for the supporters of former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and his party PML-N. Slamming the post, several users in Pakistan took to Twitter to express their disapproval of the picture, demanding action to be taken against the Facebook page that posted the photograph. One such user, Kaidar Nath tweeted the photograph and said, “If we are equal citizen in pakistan so what is this ? This is not in islam that. We want to take action against this. We are Pakistanis but first we are hindu. I requested to @AsimBajwaISPR @MaryamNSharif @ImranKhanPTI to take action ageist this facebook page.” Another user, Ali Rashad commented, “Let us all condemn this cheap act by the PMLN cyber wing. They have hurt the sentiments of Hindu Pakistanis, who have equal rights and stake in this great country.”
According to the BBC report, following the outrage over the photograph, the Parliament in Pakistan has ordered the Federal Investigation Agency to probe the matter. The Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has also ordered Home Minister Tallal Chaudry to submit a report in connection with the issue, stated the BBC report.
Meanwhile, several Hindus and Muslims condemned the viral photo on social media and street protests were also organized at a few places to condemn the photograph. Following the rpw, the post has been deleted from the Facebook page, reports said.