LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday sought personal appearance of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to explain failure of the provincial authorities in implementing a 2019 verdict requiring action against the people involved in publication of unauthentic copies of the Holy Quran.

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) cybercrime wing’s Babar Bakht Qureshi and Chiniot DPO Bilal Zafar appeared before the court during the hearing of a petition questioning non-implementation of the previous judgement.

Petitioner Hassan Muawayah alleged that the Ahamdi community and other non-Muslims continued to publish and upload copies of Quran with distorted Arabic text and mutilated translation on the internet and Google play store only to mislead Muslims.

The FIA officer told the court that action had been taken against the persons involved in the publication of false copies of the holy book and other religious material.

However, he complained about lack of cooperation on part of the police in Chiniot.

The DPO said the police was ready to assist the operations of the FIA in Chiniot but subject to fulfillment of standard protocols.

Petitioner’s counsel Shahid Tasawar Rao told the court that repeated applications had been filed with the home department and police authorities for action against the suspects in the light of the judgement.

He said the conduct of the respondent authorities was in violation of the law and the court decision.

Justice Shujaat Ali Khan summoned the chief minister in person on Nov 8 at 1pm to explain the situation.

In the judgement passed in 2019, Justice Khan had ordered the government to ensure the copies of the Holy Quran were duly approved by the Quran Board before the publication in press and on the internet.

The judge had directed the Quran Board and the government to have a vigilant eye on publication and printing of any religious material in particular Quran against its original text or authentic meaning.

He also directed the Foreign Affairs Ministry to take up the matter with managers/operators of the application stores to remove every application containing unauthentic text of the Quran and other religious books of the Muslims.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2021

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