With more than seven million YouTube users in Pakistan, the ban has already had a far-reaching impact. – AFP (File Photo)
Indians protest against the government control over censorship of internet usage in Mumbai. – Reuters Photo/File
ISLAMABAD: The top judge of Pakistan on Monday took suo motu notice on “ever increasing blasphemous material circulating on the internet,” indicated by a British national of Pakistani origin, said a press release issued by the Supreme Court.
Barrister Amjad Malik, the applicant, prayed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would issue necessary directions to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the government and other concerned institutions of the country to block such “objectionable pages promoting blasphemy in the name of freedom of expression.”
The applicant also urged the Supreme Court to direct for meaningful steps for the international community to protect the name of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
Barrister Malik drew attention of the apex court towards the blasphemous material for “having far reaching implications on the minds, the lives and liberties of mainstream Muslim population.”
It may be mentioned that YouTube – a video-sharing website – has also been blocked in Pakistan by the PTA over ‘Innocence of Muslims,’ a blasphemous movie that angered Muslims around the world.
Fearing a violent reaction and the subsequent denial of YouTube to remove the anti-Islam film, the website was blocked on September 18, 2012 on the orders of then prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.
The site was back on earlier this year but was blocked once again after a few hours.