Much has changed in terms of political campaigning in these five years. With the advent of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, which by the way are used avidly in Pakistan, the politicians can easily and effectively connect to the masses and the masses, can at least openly voice their political opinions.
Not just the public but many politicians have become social media-savvy which is quite an uncommon thing in a country like Pakistan. They are mostly viewed as corrupt, blood-sucking parasites that seldom have the courage to reach out to the masses. But things have changed (At least in the reaching out part, we’re not so sure about the ‘corrupt’ part).
Politicians in Pakistan now appear on television, although they fight for hours on the meaningless political talk shows, they at least show up and try to come up with explanations and arguments. This never used to happen almost a decade ago.
On Facebook and Twitter, we see a considerable amount of pages and official accounts of high-profile politicians such as Pervez Musharraf and Imran Khan, who basically were probably the first ones to initiate this trend. Later on, many others followed and brought their political party’s agenda to the social media.
With elections just round the corner, prominent leaders and workers of political parties are busy in sending out their messages to their followers, especially on Twitter. It’s actually quite interesting to see how the platform is being “utilized” and not being wasted.
Check out some elections’ tweets from prominent Pakistani political parties and personalities on Twitter:
1- Imran Khan:
Founder of Pakistan Movement for Justice (PTI), his Twitter page is by far the most updated account among Pakistani politicians. The former cricketer recently had a terrible accident during his election campaigning rally and got severely injured.
I will be in D chowk in spirit and will deliver my address live from hospital bed thru videolink to all r ppl gathered for #NayaPakistan!— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 9, 2013
Sialkot has decided! Tsunami wins the day again! twitter.com/ImranKhanPTI/s…— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 6, 2013
I am praying for a safe election day tomorrow 4 the entire nation. May Allah keep each one safe as we see dawn of Naya Pakistan InshaAllah.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 10, 2013
2- Marvi Memon:
Central public figure of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), a strong political party of the country, Marvi Memon is also on Twitter and is thoroughly supporting and promoting her party through her tweets.
I believe in people makin right choices on may11. Honestly its the grassroot wch wil make the change. No one else. I believe in my grassroot— Marvi Memon (@marvi_memon) May 9, 2013
Wth jam bijar at r final jalsa for the campaign. Finishin in great style... twitter.com/marvi_memon/st…— Marvi Memon (@marvi_memon) May 9, 2013
2- Shahbaz Sharif:
Another major political figure from Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and brother of the founder of the party Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif has also been very busy in promoting his party online. They face tough competition from PTI in their province Punjab.
People are flabbergasted by the expensive PTI campaign - they are spending more on the electronic media than all parties put together— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) May 2, 2013
PMLN has the vision, agenda, skills & experience to rid the country of economic instability, poor law & order and growing energy shortfall— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) May 2, 2013
4- Rehman Malik:
The most popular former Federal Interior Minister, Senior Member Central Executive Committee of Pakistan Peoples Party which was the former ruling government of Pakistan. Malik is quite famous for his tweets.
Dear All ,I hv been asked for election campaign only recently (7days before).I am doing my nest as per the wish of my leadership.— Rehman Malik (@SenRehmanMalik) May 8, 2013
Dear all, Back in ISB after hectic campaign and Inshah Allah PPP/Teer will win.— Rehman Malik (@SenRehmanMalik) May 9, 2013
Let us pray for peaceful and violence free elections tomorrow.— Rehman Malik (@SenRehmanMalik) May 10, 2013
5- Jahangir Khan Tareen:
Businessman, farmer, politician and a prominent member of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Movement for Justice (PTI), Tareen also owns a Twitter handle and is proudly promoting his party’s agenda.
@humayunshan Thank you Humayun. Ishallah we will win— Jahangir Khan Tareen (@JahangirKTareen) May 4, 2013
6- Maryam Nawaz Sharif:
Daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, she is an active member and central political figure of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawz).
Vote for a stronger, brighter & self-reliant Pakistan. Vote PMLN. #VoteNawazDa— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) May 9, 2013
InshaAllah :) "@ahsantasawar: I will be voting for PML-N in NA-121 and PP-150 along with 14 families of my block."— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) May 10, 2013
7- Sherry Rehman:
A Pakistan Peoples Party member, Rehman is a political journalist and Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S.
8- Asad Umar:
Prominent member of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Movement for Justice (PTI), Asad Umar is a former business administrator and an avid user of social media.
An amazing journey amongst the people of pakistan over the last 3 weeks of campaign. Just blown away with all the generosity and love— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) May 9, 2013
I am incredibly lucky& honored to have met so many wonderful pakistanis in all four provinces during these days. May allah bless this nation— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) May 9, 2013
Just arrived back in karachi to be able to vote. Will fly back to lahore tomorrow afternoon in time for monitoring results as they come in— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) May 10, 2013
9- Sharmila Farooqi:
Notorious for her tweets, Farroqi is a prominent Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) politician who served as advisor to the Chirf Minister of Sindh province.
Not only is her Twitter page full of pro-PPP tweets, she is also busy in a lot of mud-splashing.
Its happening! Excited! #election2013 Jiyalay Teer chala!— SHARMILAFARUQUI (@sharmilafaruqi) May 10, 2013
9- Faisal Sabzwari:
Political worker for Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and a candidate for the elections in Karachi, Sabswari served as Minister for Youth Affairs (Sindh) for two terms.
There are more Pakistani politicians who use Twitter but these ten are by far the most active ones. For more updates on Pakistan Elections 2013, stay connected to our website.