The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday ordered the government to put the names of those involved in posting blasphemous content on social media on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui passed the order while hearing a case pertaining to the alleged presence of 'blasphemous content' on social media.

The case was filed by Salman Shahid (son-in-law of Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid fame).

In his petition, Shahid had argued that the presence of blasphemous content on social media websites was "hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims".

Read more: IHC wants blasphemous content on social media blocked

The petition also alleged that pages and videos against the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) and revered personalities had not been blocked by the respondents nor had any steps been taken so far to remove the content.

Federal Secretary Interior Mohammad Arif Khan, representing Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar, Inspector General of Islamabad Police Tariq Masood Yasin, PTA Chairman Syed Ismail Shah and officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) appeared before the court today.

All the respondents were shown the 'blasphemous' content on social media in the chamber of IHC Chief Justice Siddiqui. Subsequently, Justice Siddiqui directed them to place the names of those involved on ECL. He questioned PTA chairman what he had done so far to get the content off social media pages.

The judge said that the court will hear the case on a daily basis and directed PTA to take action immediately. He ordered the PTA chairman to submit his progress on the case to him on a daily basis as well.

In his remarks, Justice Siddiqui said he had been unable to sleep since he saw the materials available with the court.

"I will go to every extent to bring this case to its logical end and if needed I will even ban social media in Pakistan," he said.

Secretary interior assured the court that all possible measures would be taken to remove the content from social media and arrest the culprits.

Opinion

Discipline and punish

Discipline and punish

The larger issue is that many within the police and the state view the role of the police as not one of service but of control.
The truly worrying malware
Updated 27 Jul 2021

The truly worrying malware

It’s excessive to hope that governments will surrender even when caught with their hands on the till.
Appointing VCs
27 Jul 2021

Appointing VCs

For VCs of yore, it was more than a job assignment.
Giving peace a chance
Updated 26 Jul 2021

Giving peace a chance

So long as Afghan government forces do not collapse in the face of the Taliban’s military assaults, diplomacy will have a chance.

Editorial

AJK’s ugly elections
Updated 27 Jul 2021

AJK’s ugly elections

All party leaders focused on insulting their rivals instead of talking about issues concerning the AJK electorate.
27 Jul 2021

Refugee concerns

AS Afghanistan slips back into chaos with a rapid Taliban advance, the possibility of refugees spilling over into...
27 Jul 2021

ECP vacancies

FEARS of yet another deadlock between the PTI government and the opposition on the selection of successors for...
26 Jul 2021

Senior citizens’ law

FOR all the cultural emphasis on respect and consideration for our elders, the state itself extends little by way of...
26 Jul 2021

Grim Covid realities

YET another grim milestone was reached last week when we became the 30th country in the world to mark a million...
Islamophobia envoy
Updated 26 Jul 2021

Islamophobia envoy

By calling for the appointment of a special envoy to counter Islamophobia, US lawmaker Ilhan Omar has raised a pertinent issue.