LHC Calls Report On Plea Against Facebook
THE Lahore High Court on Tuesday sought a report and comments from the Ministry of Information Technology and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority by August 4 on a writ petition seeking a permanent ban on access to Facebook, a social networking website, in Pakistan for announcing another anti-Islam competition on the website.
The website had already faced an interim ban in the country for holding a blasphemous caricature competition, hurting religious sentiments of the whole Muslim community, especially in Pakistan.
The petition was filed by Judicial Activism Panel (JAP) Chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique advocate who argued that the Information Ministry and PTA officials had assured the LHC on May 31 that blasphemous and objectionable material would be removed from all websites, including Facebook, but the respondents had failed to do so.
Failure on part of Pakistani authorities encouraged the owners of Facebook as they again announced a blasphemous contest and also displayed profane pictures of Khana-e-Kaaba.
He said no person was allowed to interfere with religious affairs of other person as under the United Nations convention on civil and political rights every country was bound to pass legislation to stop religious hatred. Likewise, Human Rights Commission of the UN had passed resolution on “Combating Defamation of Religions” and under which no one could air religious hatred or objectionable material against any religion.
The petitioner said Facebook might be permanently blocked/banned in Pakistan for airing and placing objectionable and blasphemous caricatures of Muslims’ holy place Khana-e-Kaaba and permanently restrained from committing blasphemy in Pakistan.
The petitioner also requested that contempt of court proceedings might be initiated against the owners of the website.
He also prayed that authorities in Pakistan might be directed that no material with respect to blasphemy of any religion or Holy Khana-e-Kaaba be published, displayed, visualised or aired in the country.