'Blasphemous content' on Facebook still accessible in Pakistan -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘Blasphemous content’ on Facebook still accessible in Pakistan

By Muhammad Yasir

KARACHI: Facebook pages carrying ‘blasphemous content’ are still accessible in Pakistan, IT Ministry sources said on Monday.

The sources told Daily Times that an inter-ministerial committee had been analysing all possible measures to block the new links on Facebook containing sacrilegious material.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) discovered the pages a few days ago and later informed the ministry to decide on the issue.

“The ministry is going to block all such material containing blasphemous material as soon as it receives recommendations on the modus operandi,” said Nagibullah Malik, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication secretary.

He added that the ministry had approached the management of Facebook over the issue, and had directed it to take “prompt action” against the page.

“The ministry had raised the same issue with the Facebook management in May 2010, when the website was blocked in Pakistan. It was directed to stop all such activities hurting the sentiments of Pakistani subscribers,” he said. “The ministry and its subordinate authorities will not tolerate websites that have blasphemous content”, Malik said.

The latest page carrying blasphemous content appeared on Facebook recently, urging subscribers to mark the September 11 attack anniversary.

So far the page has 1,726 fans from across the world, but its wall also contains messages on religious tolerance and harmony particularly from Muslims. A couple of pages have also been launched on Facebook to condemn it. Pakistani authorities earlier blocked Facebook from May 19 to 30, following the directives of Lahore High Court (LHC). The PTA also banned 17 other websites last month containing material that they said incited violence against Islam. A committee was formed last month to monitor websites for sacrilegious material. The PTA and other Internet service providers are members of the committee.
Source: Daily Times
Date:7/27/2010