LAHORE – The Lahore High Court Justice Sh Azmat Saeed on Monday ordered ministry of information and technology to block access to all websites in Pakistan especially American social networking website “Facebook”, spreading religious hatred on internet and to submit a compliance report by October 6. The judge, however, made it clear that no search engine including “Google” would be blocked.
The court issued this order while hearing a petition seeking a permanent ban on the access to American social networking website “Facebook” for hosting competition featuring blasphemous caricatures. Muhammad & Ahmad, a public interest litigation firm, through chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique advocate filed this petition and prayed for a permanent ban on access to Facebook for hosting a fresh blasphemous caricature drawing contest world over under a title “2nd Annual Draw Muhammad Day-May 20, 2011″.
The petitioner pointed out that Islamic values are being derogated in the name of information that is hurting feeling of billions of Muslims. He said despite order of the court, ministry of information technology did not block websites spreading religious hatred.
Petitioner requested that Facebook and all similar websites be permanently blocked or banned in Pakistan for airing, placing, visualizing obscene caricatures of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The petition aims at stopping unholy drawing contest as well as blocking access to the facebook site in order to save feelings of millions of Muslims from being hurt by the objectionable caricatures which the masters minds of the “2nd Annual Draw Muhammad Day-May 20, 2011 are planning through the dirty contest. He pleaded that due to holding of fresh competition, SHO Civil Lines Police Station be directed to register a criminal case under Section 295-C and other relevant provisions of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) against the perpetrators.
Petitioner has sought directions for the federal government to stop display of material with respect to blasphemy of any religion or Holy Prophet on Facebook and all other such websites in Pakistan. He said the government be directed to establish a permanent authority, having legal status, who would monitor such objectionable activities across the world, so that blasphemy of Holy Prophet should be banned forever, including the holy personalities of all religions.