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Lal Masjid’s website blocked

April 07, 2007

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ISLAMABAD, April 6: The government on Friday blocked Lal Masjid’s website highlighting “achievements” of Madressah Hafsa students and propagating its agenda of introducing, what they called, Shariah system in the country.

Earlier, the government had stopped an FM radio transmission from the mosque, but only after the matter was reported in the media.

A source in the capital administration, told Dawn that the government had issued directives to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block the website “www.lalmasjid.org” to stop the mosque’s management from launching its propaganda through the use of information technology.

“Yes, we have taken the PTA and Pemra (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) on board to block the website,” agreed a senior government official, on condition of anonymity.

He further said that they were looking for the printing press from where the Lal Masjid administration was getting its newspaper published. Earlier, he said, a printing press in Rawalpindi was publishing the material and literature of the Lal Masjid, but it had been stopped.

He admitted that the Lal Masjid administration had issued a two-page newspaper with the name, ‘Khabarnama Jamia Syeda Hafsa’ on the occasion of the opening of the three-day ‘Nifazi Shariat-o-Azmat Jihad Conference.’

The mosque administration has been publishing the newspaper on newsprint, without the bylines (names) of its editor or publisher, for the last few weeks. It is, however, not clear whether the newspaper is published daily, weekly or on a fortnightly basis.