Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar on Thursday said Pakistan will represent the global Muslim community on the issue of blasphemous content posted on social media platforms and take the fight to any extent necessary to get its message across.

"Such content has been posted on social media websites for years. I am surprised that no other Muslim country raised the issue till now," Nisar said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad.

"We will take any steps necessary to make sure that our message against such content gets across to those websites as well as the rest of the world," Nisar said.

"We cannot put a handle on things until Facebook and these other websites help us, but when it comes to uploading done from within Pakistan, we have nearly pinpointed from where it is happening through the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other intelligence agencies."

"Since this has become an international issue, I have also asked the FIA to find good legal counsel on the matter. They have been instructed to find a lawyer that understands international law and can advise us on these matters," Nisar added.

"I have asked the Foreign Office to appoint a representative in the US to liaison with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and these social media websites on a daily basis," he said.

"Facebook and other service providers should share all information about the people behind this blasphemous content with us."

“We are working on both tracks to ensure that those who have committed these crimes do not get away scot-free while the innocent do not get sucked into the matter,” he added.

“I have already directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to send out notices and ask that this content is removed and that it does not reappear online again,” Nisar said.

"Apart from all these measures, I still warn that we will take the matter to whatever end is necessary if these platforms do not comply with our demands," Nisar said, in an apparent reference to repeated appeals to block social media in Pakistan.

Nisar seemed to echo Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who said on March 14 that blasphemy is an 'unpardonable offence' and directed state machinery to find those responsible for putting blasphemous content on social media and bring them to justice without delay.

“The blasphemous content on social media is a nefarious conspiracy to hurt the religious sentiments of the entire Muslim ummah,” Nawaz was quoted as saying in a statement released on Twitter by the PML-N's official account.

Earlier the same day, the National Assembly had passed a resolution condemning blasphemous content posted on social media and unanimously agreed to the formation of a committee of parliamentary leaders to monitor such content.

Opinion

Populism and Pakistan
Updated 14 Jun 2021

Populism and Pakistan

The country’s politics is not immune to being shaped by regional and global populisms in a myriad of ways.
Domestic workers
14 Jun 2021

Domestic workers

A bill to protect domestic workers is awaiting Senate approval.
FATF compliance
13 Jun 2021

FATF compliance

Pakistan has made serious efforts to address the deficiencies in its CFT/AML regime because of FATF pressure.

Editorial

Power shortages
Updated 14 Jun 2021

Power shortages

It is high time that governance and structural reforms were introduced in the energy sector.
14 Jun 2021

Suicide in Thar

THARPARKAR is an appropriate case study for examining the factors that lead some people to the desperate, final act...
14 Jun 2021

Water woes

THIS past week saw a discussion on a water management system that, if properly implemented, should go some way...
Covid strategy
Updated 13 Jun 2021

Covid strategy

It is critical for govt to demonstrate to the public how badly health, business and education have suffered during the pandemic.
13 Jun 2021

Women in Balochistan

THE Balochistan government seems to be taking steps to improve women’s integration into society and the workforce...
13 Jun 2021

Deprived of cricket

THE federal cabinet has disallowed PTV to enter into an agreement with an Indian company for broadcast rights to...