Over the last two days, people in Karachi were abuzz with a 30-second phone call from the famous politician Imran Khan inviting them to the National Unity Jalsa in Karachi on 25th Decemeber. Quite a large number of people narate funny stories as to how they were briefly fooled into believing that this was a real call. The project kicked off early in the morning of the 18th December unfortunately as early as 6:30am [we apologize to those who received this call so early on a Sunday morning] apart from that small gaff – the city was giggling with excitement to have “had a personal call” from the heart throb Imran Khan.
The recording in Imran Khan’s voice says
Assalam-o-Alaikum. This is Imran Khan speaking. How are you?
I am coming to your city to bring everyone together on December 25 at Mazar-e-Quaid for a peace rally. I hope that you can break all the shackles and take part because at this rally we need to make the beginnings of a new Pakistan. I will be waiting. Thank you.
Only recently a post appeared on Pro-Pakistani titled “PTI is Spam Calling in Karachi to Market its Jalsa” where they ask a valid question, but I believe labeling this audio message as “spam” is unfair and instead it should have aptly been coined “Telemarketing”
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Karachi Jalsa organizers have legally hired the services of Global IT Vision a telemarketing company in Lahore to serve a recorded message by Imran Khan to the people of Karachi in the last week of December leading upto the 25th December Jalsa at the Mazar-e-Quaid
There is a difference between Spammers and Telemarketers, Spam.abuse.net
Traditional telemarketers are closely regulated by law in many countries. For example, in the US, they are prohibited from calling businesses, and they are required to stop calling anyone who asks to be put on their “do-not-call” list. Spammers do not follow these, or any of the other, restrictions on telemarketers. If you complain about spammers, they just harass you, and if you call their provider, you get indifference much of the time.
The difference again is who pays the cost – a telemarketer will have to staff up, rent phone lines, and pay monthly and often per-minute phone charges. Telemarketers cannot call collect. A spammer gets a throwaway account or a free trial disk, or signs up with a mass-mailing company, and blasts a message at hundreds of thousands of people.
The company in Lahore is officially licensed by the Govt of Pakistan and is legally allowed to run its business as a telemarketing company. The company as per the strict guidelines stipulated by the Government of Pakistan maintains an opt-in Do-not-call list [confirmed by the COO]. The Do-not-call list is an opt-in service where you can request the company to not call you again henceforth – globally similar Do-not-call list is maintained in countries like US, Canada and New Zealand. The National Do-not-call registry is maintained in the US and people can opt-into this service and it will prevent most of the unsolicited phone calls except [THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS] “A person may still receive calls from and Non-profits”
So in-effect there is a grey-area in the realm of international standards regulating Telemarketing calls, as to what may be deemed as unsolicited, the US allows for political parties to employ these tools to target their voters, if this was the first time you received the call, you can opt-out from their services.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is delighted to welcome Pakistan into the realm of Politics 2.0. Sit back relax and watch the “old-block” of politicians copy this idea and flood “our” hard earned money into the system and really irritate us. There is a class and finesse to hearing Imran Khan address you on the phone, I seriously dont know how I might react to hearing Nawaz Sharif, Zardari or Altaf Hussain croak on the other end. shhhh lets not give “Mr. Telephonic Khitab” a new idea…. [sorry no brownie points at guessing that one]