Blasphemy: Pakistan court considers banning Facebook

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Islamabad/Pakistan, March 22: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on Wednesday said the court would during the next hearing on March 27 take a decision about whether social media websites in Pakistan, providing a platform to blasphemous content, should be banned or not.

The court, while hearing a case pertaining to the dissemination of blasphemous content through social media, also asked the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to submit its latest findings in this regard in the form of a report next Monday, reports the Express Tribune.

During the hearing today, the DG Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) informed the court that they have completed their inquiry and have also registered a case two days ago.

One person was earlier arrested on suspicion of sharing and spreading blasphemous content via social media, the DG FIA added.

“A mobile phone and a laptop have also been recovered from the suspect’s possession which now rests with forensic officials,” said the FIA official while giving additional details of the arrest.

The DG FIA apprised the Islamabad High Court that the agency was keeping at least three suspects under constant surveillance and added that the names of a few more suspected persons were also placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).

He said that the FIA had also expressed Pakistan’s reservations with blasphemous, objectionable content with Facebook’s management team.

He confirmed that the social media giant had agreed to send a delegation to resolve Pakistan’s concerns with the content on its website.

Justice Siddiqui remarked that time should be given to the Facebook management and until then he insisted that “it was important to ban Facebook in Pakistan.”

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had ordered that blasphemous content on social media websites be removed or blocked and those posting such materials be strictly punished. (ANI)

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