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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.


Comments (62) Closed



PAKISTANI Mar 08, 2017 02:03pm

Good Decision by Court

Pir Sab Mar 08, 2017 02:04pm

Good Decision by Court

FRANKENSTEIN Mar 08, 2017 02:09pm

There is no need to put "son-in-law of Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid fame". If someone has follow the legal way then no one should have any problem with that.

I for once went to one of the above mentioned pages and the content they are sharing is quite disrespect full. If in "civilized countries" one can be charged your right of free expression is revoked for putting anything against Holocaust then people should accept the law of Pakistan

Saud Bin Farooq Mar 08, 2017 02:12pm

Censorship of the Internet never works.. Education is the only way to eliminate such sorted pain points.

Abdulla Hussain Mar 08, 2017 02:12pm

Please let the nation know the names of the persons involved in this super heinous crime.

advocate raja sultan khurram Mar 08, 2017 02:14pm

THE persons who dont care and throws something wrong on social media are nt wise persons they r called maid and ignorant one

opinion Mar 08, 2017 02:15pm

Is it such a priority?

sohail ahmed malik Mar 08, 2017 02:11pm

Good decisions by IHC, our Ruler are sleeping

Nomi Goraya Mar 08, 2017 02:15pm

LAW of land must be respected no one should have right to hurt feelings and make fun of feelings of other fellow humans on pretext of religious or liberal school of thought. It is also high time for government to work hard to bridge the gulf between two extremes. One the most effective way is to have uniform education system in country

alex Mar 08, 2017 02:17pm

I'm quite optimistic, this "Judge" will become a celebrity!

Rohail Mar 08, 2017 02:24pm

@opinion Why? Is there a problem? Express then...

zebswati Mar 08, 2017 02:25pm

50% of new media social physiological disorder (social/ media hyper tension etc issue) will end if face book is banned. As we in Pakistan dont know the actual use of face book (and will never !)

Nomi Goraya Mar 08, 2017 02:28pm

@Saud Bin Farooq Yeas you are very right and there is no else opinion as we have to educate the society but it will take time. We have to deter people to keep the peace and harmony of society. Hate speech or abuse is crime in almost all the countries in the WORLD.

Qasim Mar 08, 2017 02:28pm

@opinion ..yes the most important thing to do for a Muslim..

Fudayl Z. Ahmad Mar 08, 2017 02:29pm

This news has opened my eyes also, I admit. I was perhaps wrong in my earlier stance that these bloggers are being blamed for no reason. Now i know that reality may not be what i thought it was. Thanks Dawn.

Nomi Goraya Mar 08, 2017 02:30pm

@alex It does not matter what matters is to keep the LAW of LAND intact

sam smith Mar 08, 2017 02:31pm

@PAKISTANI

How is this a good decision? This material is totally impossible to ban, so this decision is totally ineffective.

Mustafa Mar 08, 2017 02:35pm

Mr. Justice is doing everything but providing speedy justice.

SR Mar 08, 2017 02:34pm

@opinion I think it is to avoid any serious mess.

M.Saeed Mar 08, 2017 02:41pm

This is highly welcomed decision of the IHC.

opinion Mar 08, 2017 02:44pm

@alex Very true....

Al fatmi Mar 08, 2017 02:46pm

Banning of Social Media won't help...these are just knee-jerk tactical moves...educate people about Islam by developing content which is interesting to watch and people would love to see.

Taimoor khan Mar 08, 2017 02:51pm

@Saud Bin Farooq Education and deterrence goes along hand and hand, those who are involved, example must be made out of them, for the rest who may have tendencies to follow this wrong path.

Ahmer Mar 08, 2017 03:11pm

Social media is not being used as it should be anywhere in the world. It should be used to make people aware and educated to eradicate senseless hate and ignorance, yet it is used in exactly opposite way. It is use to egg on and flame further the propaganda and agenda of the few.

Shahzad Mar 08, 2017 03:14pm

@opinion not at all...phateechar discussion is more important

khalid Yousafzai (UK) Mar 08, 2017 03:14pm

My God give you the strength to stick to your words

Shampee Mar 08, 2017 03:20pm

@opinion Definitely it should be!!!!!!!

S. Islam Mar 08, 2017 03:27pm

Good decision by the Honorable Judge and the IHC on taking this case which was filed by Mr Salman Shahid and terming it as the most important one. THE LAW & CONSTITUTION of Pakistan needs to be upheld. The rulers need to wake up!

athar Mar 08, 2017 03:35pm

@alex well said. This is the only reason.

Khwarizmi Mar 08, 2017 03:33pm

Finally. Peoplemhave been misusing social media. We are already being abused by Western people online, at least this should not be allowed in Pakistan.

Zia RehmaN Mar 08, 2017 03:38pm

Culprits should be punished appropriately for the safety and security. When norms are violated and arrogance prevails, turmoils may start. IHC is absolutely right. Islam teaches respect and tolerance.

Faizan qureshi Mar 08, 2017 03:49pm

Great work. well done

Faizan qureshi Mar 08, 2017 03:53pm

well done IHC

abrar Mar 08, 2017 04:05pm

Proud of this judge

Javed Malik Mar 08, 2017 04:11pm

People involved must be dealt strictly according to the law of land. So that nobody can dare to do such crime in future.

haroon Mar 08, 2017 04:19pm

you can't just censor the social media. We do have an active constitution. Education was lacking and is lacking standard format of enlightened education is the proper solution. No doubt this disrespect should never be allowed, but internet censor ship is not the solution.

haroon Mar 08, 2017 04:20pm

Other law and order situations like poisoning by house maids and house servant dacoities are seldom caught by Police in Pakistan. This record is available at every city CCPO. Should also be made priority of courts

MS Mar 08, 2017 04:21pm

All social media should be banne in Pakistan. It is taking precious time away from families and instead of people laughing and having quality time with their families, they now laugh and smile looking at their phones etc. Can you immagine?

Osman Mar 08, 2017 04:21pm

Good move

Iftikhar Husain Mar 08, 2017 04:27pm

All such materials should be banned.

Azmeen Mar 08, 2017 04:31pm

Our judges need to stay calm during hearings.

Sadiq Mar 08, 2017 04:29pm

@opinion Yes the first priority for every muslim.

Razi Mar 08, 2017 04:35pm

Be very cautious. The information is power and 'They' want to control it at all cost. The Internet is a revolution and the only to maintain their control is to make it controversial and less credible, so people tend to verify the information from the controlled media. Education is the key while banning such great invention is like spreading ignorance and keeping one place behind the rest of the world.

ak Mar 08, 2017 05:10pm

The law should be enforced with all the possible vigilance. There should be an inquiry and those found guilty should be dealt accordingly.

TRUTH IS BITTER Mar 08, 2017 05:36pm

With internet available in cell phone, family members are always busy with their respective phones and do not talk to each other. Even husband and wife do not have time to talk to each other and all live in virtual world of "Like, share and comment"

TRUTH IS BITTER Mar 08, 2017 05:40pm

After the arrival of internet and social media, people have become restless and depressed. Family is affected.

ajr Mar 08, 2017 05:42pm

Do we actually know is responsible behind these without any reasonable doubt or we just "assuming"

numan Mar 08, 2017 06:00pm

good decision by court

Kabir Mar 08, 2017 06:01pm

@ajr "Do we actually know is responsible behind these without any reasonable doubt or we just "assuming" Good question and more importantly will government give assurances of security to all those who will be put on exit control list till they are proved guilty ?

Usman Mar 08, 2017 06:15pm

Good work by the Court...

zs Mar 08, 2017 06:19pm

Very good decission. Salute to the judge. This is going on for a while now and it has to be dealt with.

Fahd Mar 08, 2017 06:52pm

We need to sort out our priorities, there are more pressing issues faced by our country.

ghaznavi Mar 08, 2017 07:58pm

@Saud Bin Farooq "Censorship of the Internet never works.. Education is the only way to eliminate such sorted pain points."

These are posts from educated. Apparently education does not address hate and bias

Muhammad Mar 08, 2017 08:01pm

There are many sectarian and extremist pages in facebook. What about them?

Alba Mar 08, 2017 08:36pm

@zebswati .... The real importance of Facebook is quite evident to all those who use it. It allows families who are separated across the countries and across the world to stay in touch daily by sharing photos, birthdays and news about family members and future family events. Discussion forums are much less relevant. Not everyone on Facebook is political. Most in fact are not.

Alba Mar 08, 2017 08:40pm

@Nomi Goraya .... Don't you ever get tired of generalities?

Alba Mar 08, 2017 08:52pm

@Al fatmi ... The bottom line is that people can choose the content they want to read on the internet or watch on television or You Tube or on DVD. No one is forced to read this stuff or look at it. We all have freedom of choice.

Alba Mar 08, 2017 08:58pm

@Ahmer ... Public Television in America does everything you say you want social media to do. PBS in America has it's own internet site. People choose where they want to go on their computers or their television sets.

y name Mar 10, 2017 07:10am

@haroon : What did Prophet Muhammad do when he was abused and insulted? Learn from Him, instead of retaliating viciously.

y name Mar 10, 2017 07:19am

@Javed Malik : That's a TALL order! Social and legal "norms" evolve with time. Different nations have different "norms". Perhaps people should live in nations that support their own "norms"? You wouldn't obey "rubbing nose greeting" as a norm, would you?

y name Mar 10, 2017 07:20am

@MS : Wah! What genius!

y name Mar 10, 2017 07:23am

@numan : Sorry! Unenforceable decision by Judge Siddiqui. That means his judgement is null and void in practice!