Users of social media in Pakistan are well aware of the fact that Rehman Malik, adviser to the prime minister on interior affairs, is often ridiculed online. But if he hadn’t swooped in to save the day, the Indians from across the border wouldn’t have been able to make it to the ‘Pakistan-India Social Media Mela’, said Sabeen Mahmud, the managing director of PeaceNiche, a not-for-profit organisation responsible for the content of the conference.
“Just a couple of days before the event, I was told that the visas were sorted out and all the Indians needed to do was to have their passports stamped,” she said. “But on July 10, after speaking to the Intelligence Bureau all day, I realised that the event would simply not happen.” It was then that someone suggested that she contact Malik, who eventually signed the required documents. “He took me aside and asked me if we had invited any military personnel. We assured him that only bloggers would be attending, to which he said ‘all these people on Facebook and Twitter make so much fun of me.’”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2012.