ISLAMABAD, Jan 24: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday admitted a petition filed by Senator Babar Awan advocate, seeking blocking of blasphemous and pornographic material from the web.

The court asked the secretary Ministry of Information Technology, and Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to reply within a week.

Arguing before IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, Mr Awan said that the PTA had not blocked the blasphemous and pornographic contents on Internet despite directions from the ministry of interior.

He told the court that information ministry had issued a notification on May 31, 2012, directing PTA to take requisite measures for blocking websites containing blasphemous and pornographic contents on internet.

He argued that after the passage of seven months PTA failed to implement on the directives.

Due to the negligence such an immoral material is still available on internet. The petitioner maintained that he also filed an application before the authority but the chairman did not pay any heed.

Awan told the court that the PTA was a regulatory body and it had powers to frame the rules and implement under the Pakistan Electronic Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Act.

He contended that PTA was bound to implement the directives of the ministry. He said that pornographic contents are frequently available on the internet and it can be seen directly from the content providing sites, search engines and host sites.

He said that YouTube was banned in Pakistan, but these sites could be seen through host sites or software.

The senator, however, did not request for the reopening of YouTube but stressed the need for introducing effective mechanism for the filtration of unwanted contents.

He said that PTA had failed to purchase software to scrutinize such contents permanently. Quoting examples from other countries advocate Awan told the court that Iran, Saudi Arab, China and other countries had successfully blocked such sites.