Is Telenor Officially Supporting PTI?
In countries like United States, businesses and generally corporate sector supporting political campaigns through donations is in practice for long. However, at times questions are raised when these corporations start influencing in policy making for the their respective sectors/domains.
To prevent this situation many countries have legislated terms for political financing to make sure that businesses are not benefited above the law and in any form in return of the funds they give to political parties.
In Pakistan, no such known phenomenon exists. Political parties can’t get direct, indirect, public or any other type of funds from businesses for their election campaigns. In fact Election Commission of Pakistan has this rule clearly mentioned on its website, it says:
Any contribution made, directly or indirectly, by any foreign government, multi-national or domestically incorporated public or private company, firm, trade or professional association shall be prohibited and the parties may accept contributions and donations only from individuals.
Recently, Telenor’s marketing campaigns seem aligned with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, through their Khamoshi ka Boycott, Rockstar song “Saada Haq Ithay Rakh” and other similar activates that somehow give the impression that company is quietly but officially supporting a certain political party, i.e. PTI.
For instance check this status update on Talkshawk’s Facebook Page:
It won’t be out of place to mention here that Shehzad Roy, Telenor’s brand ambassador was seen performing Djuice youth anthem (Kiya Darta Hay) at PTI’s Lahore Jalsa. Aamir Ibrahim, CMO at Telenor told me that company does not control anyone else’s political affiliations; he said that this company policy applies to employees, partners and brand ambassadors alike. But people are for sure linking Telenor with PTI through Shehzad Roy’s performance at PTI’s Jalsa.
Then hefty advertisement campaign (valuing millions of rupees) for promoting just a CRBT of “Rockstar” (Saada Haq, Ithay Rakh) adds more questions to Telenor’s policy of not maintaining any revolutionary thoughts.
I know all this is too vague, and one could give Telenor the benefit of the doubt that it is just promoting its products with a tagline which is somehow, maybe co-incidentally, aligned with PTI but let’s have a look at a tweet going out from Official Djuice Twitter account (which was later deleted by the company) that reveals the clear picture of Telenor’s intents:
I leave this up to you to decide on the direction of Telenor’s marketing and digital campaigns.
You can also share your thoughts on whether corporate sector involvement in political campaigns is something that should happen or not and the way corporations can possibly influence political decisions based on such support.
We also need to see how political involvement can backfire on organization under the head of political victimizations, especially in countries like Pakistan.
Just to mention again business are prohibited to support political parties as per Pakistani laws, at least as of now.
Zahid Khan, ANP Leader from KPK has revealed in a talk show that a telecom operator had bought 7 hours of air time from all news channels on December 25th and had in fact sponsored this Jalsa. Mr. Zahid didn’t reveal the operator name but his revelation is astonishing. Watch yourself below video (check video at 7:10 onwards).
- PML-N Alleges Telenor for Supporting a Specific Political Party
- Khamoshi ka Boycott: Booti Culture and its Relation with Night Packages
- Telenor Explains the Philosophy Behind ‘Khamoshi ka Boycott’
- Kiya Yeh Khula Tazaad Nahi – Part 2
- Protest Against Telenor’s khamoshi Ka Boycott TVCs
- Is Telenor Planning for an Entertainment Portal?
- Djuice Revamped, with ‘Khamoshi ka Boycott’