Facebook Should Ban in Pakistan if Blasphemous Content Not Removed: IHC

Facebook Should Ban in Pakistan if Blasphemous Content Not Removed: IHC

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Judge Justice Shaukat Siddiqui has notified the concerned authorities to ban social media website Facebook in the country if the blasphemous material is not removed. The decision to block the Facebook in Pakistan will be taken in the next hearing on 27th March 2017.

The Islamabad High Court bench also asked Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to submit its report regarding the latest findings. The IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui was also informed about the progress made by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The DG FIA told to IHC bench that they have completed the investigations and arrested a man who is reportedly involved in sharing the blasphemous content on social media website Facebook. A mobile phone and a laptop have also been recovered from the accused’s custody which now rests with forensic officials.  The DG FIA further added that several other involved in sharing such content have been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) and the case has been filed two days ago.

The IHC judge also asked the Interior Secretary, why government is not having help of FIA to eliminate blasphemous content on Facebook.

On the other hand Advocate General Islamabad said the social media company takes two to three weeks in sharing compulsory information.

The IHC Judge said that its very sensitive issue and we should block Facebook in the country until the matter is resolved properly. He said,

“We do not need social media if it cannot stop blasphemy”.

The director FIA also told the Islamabad High Court that they identified approximately 70 alleged people who were running scandalous pages on social media. He further told that many of identified persons were living abroad.

The DG FIA assured the court that the Facebook management was willing to support Pakistan but needs some time to look into the matter.

IHC Justice remarked that time should be given to the Facebook management and until then he insisted that

 “it was important to ban Facebook in Pakistan.”

He order involved authorities to submit reports  till 27th March 2017 and the decision about the ban on Facebook will be taken in next hearing.

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