ISLAMABAD: Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday urged religious scholars to jointly deal with the issue of blasphemous content on social media.

The court observed that the bureaucracy had apparently failed to tackle such a sensitive issue which sometimes resulted in the murder of alleged blasphemers.

The judge, who was one of the authors of the verdict which upheld the conviction of Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of Punjab governor Salman Taseer, remarked that if the government machinery did not stop blasphemous content from reaching citizens, people like Mumtaz Qadri would continue to take the law into their own hands.


Judge says if govt does not restrict such content, more Mumtaz Qadris would take the law into their own hands


Hearing a petition seeking the blockade of blasphemous contents and hate material on the social media, Justice Siddiqui directed Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to appear before the court.

The court noted: “This matter requires immediate attention otherwise patience of the followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) may run out.”

Inspector General of Islamabad Police Tariq Masood Yasin said he was ready to take action if the court passed an order.

“This is a greatest form of terrorism and people involved in this heinous act are biggest terrorists,” the court observed, referring to the publication of blasphemous content and hate material on social media.

“It is shameful that delicate and sensitive matter in hand remained unattended by the executive of the country. It is also painful that the interior secretary did not bother to appear before the court and preferred to attend some office meeting.”

On Feb 27, the bench had directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block pages or websites containing blasphemous material.

On Tuesday, Secretary Ministry of Information Technology Rizwan Bashir Khan, PTA Chairman Syed Ismail Shah, SSP (operations) Sajid Mehmood Kiani and officers of the Federal Investigation Agency appeared before the court. The petitioner adopted that the pages and videos against the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and revered personalities had not been blocked by the respondents nor any step taken so far. As a result, the culprits were encouraged and fearlessly opening more pages using different names.

The petitioner claimed that religious people had demanded registration of cases against those responsible for uploading the blasphemous contents and hate material.

The court will take up the case again on Wednesday.

Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2017

Opinion

Big win, bigger challenges
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Big win, bigger challenges

Pakistan should be smug. It is not. There are a number of likely scenarios that must be the source of its unease.
Power of stays
19 Sep 2021

Power of stays

Great power means no one dare ask you questions.
Local decay
18 Sep 2021

Local decay

The set-up in Sindh exercises total control over LG functions.

Editorial

Talking to the Taliban
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Talking to the Taliban

PRIME Minister Imran Khan has announced that he has started a dialogue with the Taliban for the formation of a...
New Zealand’s departure
Updated 19 Sep 2021

New Zealand’s departure

THERE was chaos and despair when New Zealand decided to call off their tour of Pakistan barely minutes before the...
19 Sep 2021

Crucial polio campaign

THE national vaccination campaign that kicked off in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday is being described by experts as...
Blinken’s remarks
Updated 18 Sep 2021

Blinken’s remarks

The US establishment cannot scapegoat Pakistan for two decades of bad policy in Afghanistan.
18 Sep 2021

Worrying survey

THE findings of the Labour Force Survey 2018-19 indicate that some important headline trends have already taken or...
18 Sep 2021

Special needs

THE fact that only 3,653 children with special needs, out of some 300,000 in Sindh, are registered with the...