LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan on Monday expressed dismay over the slackness of the government to ensure removal of blasphemous material from the internet and summoned the authorities concerned.

Without naming Prime Minister Imran Khan, the chief justice observed, “It is easy to make claims to establish Riasat-i-Madina. It seems the top man needs to be summoned.”

Advocate Azhar Haseeb filed a petition seeking a direction for the government to get the name of the leader of Ahmadi community as caliph of Islam removed from the Google.

The lawyer pleads that when an internet user writes “who is present caliph of Islam” in the Google search engine, the name of the Ahmadi community’s leader appears in the answer.

He argues that the law does not allow the Ahmadi community to preach but it has been doing the same through the internet.

CJ dismayed at govt failure to remove blasphemous content from internet

During the hearing, Chief Justice Khan regretted that the matter was being raised on the internet for two weeks but the government remained idle.

He said, “I am not in favour of banning Google, Facebook or Twitter as the social media websites are not bad but it depends how one uses it.”

However, he added, if the government could ban online game PUBG why did it fail to respond to the issue in hand.

The chief justice also admonished a law officer for referring to legal limitations to deal with the objectionable material on the internet. “Here you can take shelter behind the laws but what would you do hereinafter,” he reminded the law officer.

The CJ adjourned further hearing till Dec 28 and summoned authorities from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and other departments.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2020

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