The social media landscape in Pakistan has seen phenomenal growth over the last few years, and Twitter has rapidly developed into an alternate medium for news, updates and staying connected with people and personalities you love, hate, or just need to follow because everyone is doing it.
This connected strata of society cannot be ignored, as even in its early days in Pakistan, it has proven to be a potent force/tool in the hands of journalists, media groups, politicians, celebrities, brands, news makers, opinion leaders, bloggers and any individual who has a voice (and a Twitter account) hoping to be heard.
The Express Tribune presents its top 140 Twitterati for 2011 below.
Husain Haqqani (husainhaqqani) Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States of America and prolific Twitter user who makes time to respond to his thousands of followers.
Pervez Musharraf (PMPakistan) Former President of Pakistan who uses Twitter as an extension of his Facebook page.
Shahbaz Sharif (CMShahbaz) Chief Minister, Punjab, Pakistan.
Rehman Malik (SenRehmanMalik) Member of Pakistan People’s Party Central Executive Committee; Senator; Minister for Interior.
Naveed Qamar (naveedqamar ) Minister for Privatisation and Energy Pakistan.
Mushahid Hussain (Mushahid) Journalist, politician, writer, reader and an observer of things interesting.
Marvi Memon (marvi_memon) (Former) member National Assembly of Pakistan. The most followed Twitter politico in the local sphere.
Ijazul Haq (ijazulhaq) Pakistani Politician and son of Former President of Pakistan, General Ziaul Haq.
Haider Abbas Rizvi (haiderrizvi90) Deputy Parliamentary Leader of MQM.
Farahnaz Ispahani (fispahani) MNA Pakistan People’s Party. Member-Standing Committee on Human Rights, Foreign Affairs, Info and Broad.
Kashmala Tariq (Kashmala_Tariq) Politician with a penchant for sporadic, often obscure Twitter updates.
Syed Mustafa Kamal (MayorKamal) Terms himself the true representative of the working class of Pakistan. Ex-Mayor of Karachi.
Imran Khan (ImranKhanPTI) Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. Updates tend to be an extension of Khan’s political rhetoric and cross-country campaigning.
Atiqa Odho (atiqaodho2009) Media Personality/Political Reformer and vocal supporter of Musharraf’s APML.
Ali Zafar (AliZafarforu) Pakistan’s most loved artist, actor, musician (on Twitter).
Atif Aslam (itsaadee) Rock star. Living his dreams.
Aaminah Haq (LaHaq) Former Super Model now Heavy Weight. Loves food,Ammar Belal, a cat called Barack.
Meera (The_MeeraJee) Purports to be, the Real Meera. The Real Superstar. The Real Human.
Ali Azmat (RealAliAzmat) Recording artist, musician, actor, anchor, song writer, producer.
Aisha Linnea (aishalinnea) Neither here nor there. Svägistani. Slackistan star.
Zeb and Haniya (zebandhaniya) Pop group combining folk music and blues with an alternative twist.
Sami Shah (samishah) Comedian, Writer, Graphic Designer, Producer, Sapien.
Saad Haroon (Saad_Haroon) A comedian! a writer! a performer!
Wasim Akram (wasimakramlive) Pakistan’s former cricket captain, Commentator at ESPN, Bowling coach and mentor at KKR.
Wahab Riaz (WahabViki) Pakistani cricketer and active Twitter user.
The Kominas (THEKOMINAS) Pak/USian Punks.
Ali Noor (alinoor) Noori founder, lead guitarist and songwriter.
Jemima Khan (Jemima_Khan) Imran Khan’s ex-wife with one eye on Pakistan and one eye on activism.
Strings (stringsonline) Pakistani Pop/Rock band.
Sohaib Athar (ReallyVirtual) IT consultant taking a break from the rat-race by hiding in the mountains. Also unlikely celebrity for live-tweeting the Abbottabad raid.
Majorly Profound (majorlyprofound) A comic genius. Self-proclaimed award winning, highly ejjucated, critical thinker. Wimmens exbert. Strategic geopolitical analyst.
JOURNALISTS & MEDIA FOLK
Mohammed Hanif (mohammedhanif ) Pakistani writer and journalist. Author of A case of exploding Mangoes.
Ejaz Haider (ejazhaider) Columnist extraordinaire.
Huma Imtiaz (HumaImtiaz)Washington-based journalist who enjoys cocktails with a dash of sarcasm.
Wajahat S Khan (WajSKhan) Media personality of Dawn News Talk Back fame. Harvard Shorenstein Fellow, broadcaster, columnist, documentarian, intel brat.
Shaheryar Mirza (mirza9) Karachi-based Express 24/7 journalist who just wants to get his kicks before the whole ****house goes up in flames.
Cyril Almeida (cyalm) Dawn columnist, news analyst, editorial writer with an eye on drawing room drama in Islamabad’s upper echelons.
Mehmal Sarfraz (Mehmal) Op-ed Editor, Daily Times. Joint General Secretary, South Asian Women in Media (SAWM).
Nadeem F Paracha (NadeemfParacha) Journalist/Columnist. Sworn enemy of PTI Twitterati.
Abid Hussain abidhussayn An editor busy observing life and his Twitter timeline, live from The Friday Times.
Naveen Naqvi (naveenaqvi) Cofounder of Gawaahi.com. Broadcast/online/print journalist.
Salman Masood (SalmanMasood) Pakistan Correspondent for The New York Times.
Marvi Sirmed (marvisirmed) Columnist, activist, political commentator, student of IR & Counter Terrorism. A Pakistani with a bindi.
Najam Sethi (najamsethi) Editor, The Friday Times, and Group Advisor GEO TV.
Ahmed Jung (ahmedjung) Karachi reporter for Express 24/7.
Asad Hashim (AsadHashim) Al-Jazeera Journalist, sometimes Anthropologist.
Madeeha Syed (madeehasyed) Culture journo for Dawn.
Nadir Hassan (Nadir_Hassan) Journalist with more inexplicable collapses than Phil Mickelson. Reporter/Columnist for Express Tribune.
Jahanzaib Haque (jhaque_) Web Editor, The Express Tribune. Also does Jay’s Toons.
Fahad Desmukh (desmukh) Activist, writer,revolutionary with a desire to dance.
Saba Imtiaz (Saba_Imtiaz) Reporter at The Express Tribune.
Naheed Mustafa (NaheedMustafa) Journalist with a bunch of awards in search of a patron.
Omar R Quraishi (omar_quraishi) The Express Tribune Editorial Pages Editor, previously at The News and Dawn.
Rabia Mehmood (Rabail26) Correspondent for Express 24/7 in Pakistan.
Farieha Aziz (FariehaAziz) Journalist. Assistant editor at Newsline.
Raza Rumi (Razarumi) Prolific writer and blogger. C-Editor: The Friday Times, Himal SouthAsia, Columnist: Express-Tribune, The News on Sunday.
Basil Nabi Malik (basilnabi) Karachi-based lawyer and freelance columnist.
Faizan Lakhani (faizanlakhani) Free-wheeling journalist from Karachi. Working as sports reporter for Geo News.
Nosheen Abbas (Goshno) Journalist-at-Large.
Khurram Husain (KhurramHusain) Business Editor, analyst at the Express Media Group.
Salman Siddiqui (salmansid) Karachi-based journalist who works for The Express Tribune.
Abbas Nasir (abbasnasir59) Multimedia journalist; worked for Dawn, DawnNews TV and BBC.
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (sharmeenochinoy) Investigative journalist, documentary filmmaker, Co-founder Citizens Archive of Pakistan and TED senior Fellow.
Madiha Sattar (MadihaSattar) Journalist, supposedly in the most dangerous place on Earth.
Ayesha Tammy Haq (tammyhaq) Part-time corporate lawyer and broadcast journalist and committed adventure traveller.
Fasi Zaka (fasi_zaka ) Columnist. Hosts The Fasi Zaka Show on Radio One FM91. Veritable pop-icon.
Ali K Chishti (akchishti) Writer, social activist and sufi.
Fifi Haroon (fifiharoon) Media Specialist, woman with a view.
Aamna Taseer (AamnaTaseer) Mother of 6, CEO Sunday Daily Times. Proud wife of Shaheed Salmaan Taseer.
Munizae Jahangir (MunizaeJahangir ) Pakistani television journalist and documentary filmmaker. Worked for NDTV as their Pakistani correspondent and now working for Express Media Group.
Mehreen Jabbar (mehreenjabbar ) A storyteller. Renowned film-maker and television director/producer.
Omar Waraich (OmarWaraich) Journalist covering Pakistan for TIME and The Independent.
Cafe Pyala (cpyala) Anonymous media blog with a mission. Ruminating on Life, the Universe and Everything. But mostly Pakistan and Pakistani media.
Declan Walsh (declanwalsh) Guardian correspondent for Pakistan/Afghanistan.
Shehrbano Taseer (shehrbanotaseer) Journalist and nehari lover. Proud daughter of Shaheed Salmaan Taseer.
Ayeshah Alam Khan (ayeshahalam) Gadget freak, net geek, media personality,event manager, entrepreneur.
George Fulton (GeorgeFulton1) Writer and broadcaster. Was based in Pakistan for the past nine years, now back in the UK, and much missed by fans of George ka Pakistan.
Beena Sarwar (beenasarwar) Journalist, artist, documentary filmmaker.
Tapu Javeri (tapujaveri) A picture is worth a thousand words but twitter is only worth 140. Pakistan’s pre-eminent photographer.
Bina Shah (BinaShah) Writer and columnist; author of Slum Child.
Christine Fair (CChristineFair) Assistant Professor at Georgetown University specializing in South Asian political and military affairs.
Nick Schifrin (nickschifrin) Afghanistan, Pakistan ABC News reporter in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Nusrat Javeed (javeednusrat) Bolta Pakistan host and journalist extraordinaire.
Feisal H Naqvi (laalshah ) Part time journo; full time lawyer; occasional golfer. Genetically programmed to like all movies titled Vehshy Gujjar or any variation thereof.
Urooj Zia (UroojZia) Freelance journo. Areas: Investigative journalism, Indo-Pak, Afghanistan, South asia, rights, legislation, urban conflict, rural polity, gender discourse.
Faiza S Khan (BhopalHouse) Editor of The Life’s Too Short Literary Review, columnist/critic. Wanted Algonquin Round Table, got Karachi.
Rabia Garib (rabiagarib) Editor-in Chief, CIO Pakistan.
Talib Qizilbash (tqizilbash) Leading Newsline magazine. Vertically challenged journalist, jazz fan, and travel junkie.
Nahal Toosi (nahaltoosi) Pakistan Associated Press correspondent in Islamabad, Pakistan.
OPINION MAKERS, LEADERS, GURUS
Mosharraf Zaidi (mosharrafzaidi) Analyst, columnist and a great read on Twitter.
Ayesha Siddiqa (iamthedrifter) A Gypsy Writer from Pakistan. Political commentator, famed for her groundbreaking book Military Inc.
Jehan Ara (jehan_ara) President of the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA). IT guru, progressive thinker and activist.
Zaheer Kidvai (kidvai) Education Technologist /New Media Analyst. A true rebel at heart.
Sabeen Mahmud (sabeen) Post Modern Flower Child. Caretaker and brainchild leading T2F.
Awab Alvi (DrAwab) Geek, dentist and blogger. TED 2011 Senior Fellow & TEDIndia 2009 Fellow.
Rafia Zakaria (rafiazakaria) Dawn columnist and attorney teaching political philosophy and constitutional law.
Asma Jahangir (Asma_Jahangir) Human rights lawyer based in Pakistan. She is currently the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.
Mukhtar Mai (MukhtarMai) President Mukhtar Mai Women’s Organization, campaigning for education and women rights in Pakistan.
Fatima Bhutto (fbhutto) Columnist, poet, writer. Author of Songs of Blood and Sword. Pet peeves: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music, Vladimir Nabokov.
Nighat Dad (nighatdad )Pakistan Takebackthetech campaigner, privacy activist, public policy researcher, special public prosecutor,human rights activist.
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi (GhamidiView) Pakistani Muslim theologian.
Tazeen Javed (tazeen) Blogger and brainchild behind A Reluctant Mind.
Nabiha Meher Shaikh (NabihaMeher) Youth corrupter; Hindu-Zionist Western agent whose aim in life is to live in a country as tolerant and prosperous as Pakistan; angry, lesbian feminist.
Shahid Saeed (shahidsaeed ) Blogger, columnist and web addict. Archivist at HoshMedia.org.
Amara Javed (Amara807) Fashion blogger/ columnist. Sporadic diva. Foodie. Dwindling mind. Day job consists of media training.
Sara Taseer Shoaib (sarataseer) Jewellery designer. Gemological Institute of America, London School of Econ UK. Proud daughter of Shaheed Salmaan Taseer.
Kala Kawa (kaalakawaa) Acclaimed anonymous blogger – with wings and beak.
Ahmer Naqvi (karachikhatmal) Blogger who is the Brian Lara of his generation – a genius but his team usually loses.
Zahir Riaz (zahirriaz) Lawyer, radio presenter, bon vivant, ceaseless reader, erratic thinker, fantasy booker prize winner.
Mehreen Kasana (mehreenkasana) An opinionated proselyte of palavers a many; such as feminism, Islam, world politics, philosophy and literature.
Five Rupees (FiveRupees) Blogger and PhD candidate in Political Science (IR/Security Studies).
Kalsoom Lakhani (kalsoom82) Work in philanthropy. Blogger on Pakistan & #socent (via CHUP & TC-P). Coffee addict. Jeopardy enthusiast. Sleep deprived. Soon-to-be social entrepreneur.
Sabahat Zakariya (sabahat24) Blogger, teacher and culture critic.
Assad Zulfiqar Khan (pseudorebel ) Filmmaker, political fanatic, diehard Bhuttoist.
Syed Ali Raza Abidi (abidifactor) Blogger focues on politics for welfare. Liberal, patriot, progressive revolutionary.
Ahmad Rafay Alam (rafay_alam) Father, lawyer, environment activist, teacher, columnist, cyclist.
Adil Najam (AdilNajam ) Frederick S. Pardee Professor of Global Public Policy at Boston University and founder of All Things Pakistan.
Ali Dayan Hasan (AliDayan) Pakistan Representative for Human Rights Watch.
Mustafa Qadri (Mustafa_Qadri) Pakistan researcher at Amnesty International.
Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi (Ali_Abbas_Zaidi ) An aeronautical engineer by books, an activist by mind, a wanderer by soul and a lover by heart. Founder Pakistan Youth Alliance.
Andrea DeArment (AndieDeArment) US Consulate Karachi. Diplomat.
Tristram Perry (TristramPerry) US Consulate Lahore. Twitter addict. Each time he tweets, a bishop kicks in a stained-glass window.
Shakir Husain (shakirhusain) Entrepreneur, columnist and citizen.
Rabayl Memon (baylinveil) Slackademic slacktivist.
Saad Hamid (SaadGH) New media developer, idea inventor, blogger, brand promoter, social media activist. Founder of PehliMadad.org initiative and curator of TEDxMargalla.
Mahnoor Yawar (mahnooryawar) Co-founder of Project: We Believe. Feminist. Unicorn-phobe. Footie/Tennis fanatic. Closet writer/photographer/RJ.
Faisal Kapadia (faisalkapadia) Blogger on tech/social media. Writer by night.
Omar Bilal Akhtar (obakhtar) Lead singer and guitarist of Aunty Disco Project. Obscene cricket pundit, blogger, radio show host, Panda enthusiast.
FurSid (fursid) Photographer, web designer. Inquisitive, music and inspiration explorer.
Roznama Jawani (JBXN) Fake (authentic) news source which brings you stories that you never knew existed in Pakistan. Local version of The Onion.
Kashif Aziz (kashaziz) Internet Consultant and Entrepreneur with a keen eye for politics, breaking news.
Saad (kursed) Geek. Cinema fanatic. Interests include military technology, aircrafts and asymmetric warfare. Religiously follows regional and local politics.
Salma Jafri (salmajafri) Proud mother, passionate writer, online entrepreneur, fire-breathing dragon.
Manan Ahmed (sepoy) a historian, a blogger, and a frumious bandersnatch.
Ammar Yasir (ammaryasir) Co-founder of TeaBreak.pk, blogger, internet junkie, social media evangelist. Freelance technology writer.
NOTE: The above list is only a small window into the rapidly growing Pakistani community on Twitter. It is meant to serve as a starting point for exploration – feel free to alert us of any accounts we should be following/adding to the list in the comments section below, or on Twitter using the hashtag #Trib140.
• If you wish to experience this list in real-time on your own Twitter account, follow The Express Tribune’s curated Twitterati list.
• Don’t forget to follow the etribune account for 24 hour breaking news, updates, opinions, features, videos, slideshows and blogs.
• Stay in touch with our staffers by following our Tribune staff list.