Twitterverse stunned by arrival of Rehman Malik

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Jahanzaib Haque/Saba Imtiaz

Pakistani Twitter users have expressed ‘shock and awe’ at the latest VIP addition to their Twitterverse, as Interior Minister Rehman Malik has joined the micro-blogging site following a nationwide ban on Facebook.

Malik said his son told him that if he couldn’t get on Facebook, where he has his own page which hosts pictures of dignitaries and has 691 fans, he should Tweet.

Malik has more than 350 followers and he has been tweeting about everything from the Facebook/YouTube ban to target killings in Karachi, terrorism and women parliamentarians. Malik has been freely communicating with his followers and other users on Twitter, responding to their Tweets and initiating conversation himself.

“Cabinet meeting 2day,” tweeted Malik. “Condemned blasphemous material. Cabinet accepted my proposal to block ONLY the objectable sections of facebook&youtube.”

In response to another Twitter user he said, “It was not GoP which imposed the facebook/youtube ban. Judiciary, LHC gave judgment on this matte & ensured its implementatn.”

He also responds to criticism and complaints. Responding to one critic he wrote: “Police follow a set procedure 4 security chks. It is their discretion and prerogative who they chk. But point duly noted.”

Malik is also using Twitter as a platform to communicate with world leaders. Below follow his tweets to David Miliband and Barack Obama:

@DMiliband You are a great leader. Best of luck. Interior Minister Rehman Malik

@BarackObama Sir, I admire your efforts in making the world more peaceful. My son, Umer, always remembers you. Best wishes. RM

Reactions (positive)

 

mirza9: my sole purpose on twitter is to follow rehman malik.

 

majorbuttretd: Whoa!! Rehman Malik on teetar!! Take that Yindia!! Now try sending a dassier more than 140 chars!!

desmukh: how sweet RT: @SenRehmanMalik: @DMiliband You are a great leader. Best of luck. Interior Minister Rehman Malik

SalmaanTaseer: It’s good to c interior minister on Twitter. Wah swami hakoomat

MobisherLive: @SenRehmanMalik I think you should run for the most stylish man in#Pakistan Competition

shihabsakib: @SenRehmanMalik Impressive. You are hard work and loyalty embodied. Keep it up!

Reactions (neutral)

kaalakawaa: Dear @SenRehmanMalik, please change your display picture to one with a green tie (baby pink acceptable too). Many people want this.

Rezhasan: Musharraf, Rehman Malik, Salmaan Taseer, wonder when Zardari’s gonna get on the #Twitter wagon?

Mohsin_Meer: Facebook ban has brought @SenRehmanMalik on twitter.Nice 2 C our politicians coming 2 interact with people.Can they tolerate harsh comments?

Reactions (negative)

samishah: Okay, you can ban twitter now. I am not sharing a social networking platform with Rehman Malik.

faisalqureshi: Rehman malik actually believes Obama reads his msgs frm 7mill followers. Our politicos hv 2b the lamest.

kalsoom82: @tazeen the irony of Rehman Malik on Twitter when PTA is banning everything is overwhelming.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION TAKEN FROM REUTERS

Originally published in The Express Tribune.

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