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Following Pakistan's protest march, a long trail of Twitters

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KARACHI, Pakistan – Today, images of Pakistanis rejoicing at the reinstatement of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry abound. But some of the greatest energy surrounding the Pakistani lawyers’ movement, and their cross-country protest march that began last Thursday, cannot be found on the streets of Islamabad or Lahore – it’s online.

For the past several days, student activists, citizen journalists, and Pakistanis across the diaspora who could not march with the lawyers have been typing or texting instead.

Pakistan, a developing nation with about 17 million Internet users in a population of more than 150 million, seems like an unlikely place for Internet activism to thrive. But ongoing political turmoil, the looming threat of suicide attacks, and government directives to arrest participants in the lawyers’ movement prompted many Pakistanis take their political activism to blogs, chat forums, and Twitter. (Read the Monitor’s coverage of the cross-country protest march here, here, and here.)

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