NA, Punjab PA call for blocking blasphemous links
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The National Assembly (NA) and the Punjab provincial assembly (PA) on Monday resolved that blasphemous links on internet be removed.
The NA, while strongly condemning the appearance of blasphemous material on the social media, unanimously passed a resolution for constitution of a special committee of the House to look into the matter. The 10-member special committee comprising members of the NA may also propose a legislation envisaging exemplary punishment for those involved in creation of such objectionable material on the social media.
Through the resolution, the House authorised the chair to pick members from parties represented in the NA. The special committee would be notified by the NA Secretariat later.Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi, who was chairing the proceedings, said the special committee would also give recommendations for blasphemous material on social media.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly also passed a unanimous resolution strongly denouncing the circulation of objectionable material about Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his companions on the social media.
The resolution was jointly moved by Captain (R) Muhammad Safdar of PML-N and Naeema Kishwar Khan from JUI-F. The resolution said the objectionable material is hurting the sentiments of the Muslims.
The resolution urged the government to take necessary steps to block the objectionable material on social media. Speaking on the issue, the parliamentarians said that belief in Khatam-e-Nabuwwat (SAW) and keeping dignity and respect of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as supreme is part and parcel of faith of Muslim.
They also paid rich tributes to Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court for effectively taking up the issue and passing directions to the authorities concerned in this connection. The members condemned campaign launched against Justice Siddiqui on social media and remarks given by a senior female lawyer against the judge.
The parliamentarians also questioned inability of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in blocking the objectionable material Those who spoke on the resolution included Nawab Muhammad Yousuf Talpur (PPP), Sheikh Salahuddin (MQM), Sahibzada Tariqullah and Sher Akbar Khan (Jamaat-e-Islami), Ejazul Haq (PML-Z) and others.
Meanwhile in Lahore, PA unanimously passed the resolution condemning derogatory images and remarks against the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and other sacred personalities of Islam on social media and demanded of the government that culprits be tracked down and punished under blasphemy laws immediately.
On private members’ day with Deputy Speaker Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani in the chair, the House took up the resolution by opposition member Khadija Umar of PML-Q, which also demanded of the federal government to evolve an effective mechanism to prevent publication of blasphemous material on social media with the help of religious scholars and Information Technology (IT) experts.
The House also decided to set up a committee of legislators to monitor implementation of the resolution. The members from both sides held that the blasphemous posts were a grave conspiracy to inflame Muslims and test their love for the Prophet (PBUH).
Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said the utmost respect and love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is one of the rudimentary articles of faith and no Muslim can stay aloof if any blasphemous act is done. He said blasphemers deserve death as punishment.
The minister said Muslims hurt by the blasphemous act express their reaction which is natural and cannot be called retrogressive or extremist. Minister for Minorities Khalil Tahir Sidhu said that death for committing blasphemy against other prophets can also be provided under section 295-C. Rana Sanaullah endorsed his view.
Maulana Ilyas Chinioti said the Qadiyanis were behind the blasphemous posts under a conspiracy to spark civil war in the country. Dr Waseem Akhtar of Jamaat-e-Islami said the West had been hatching such conspiracies through its paid agents to incite the Muslims. But the rulers in the Islamic world are not taking notice of this conspiracy. He demanded the government to set up a department to block such material.
The Leader of the Opposition Mian Mahmudur Rashid termed the blasphemous posts a move to infuriate the Muslims to create chaos in society. Maulana Ghayasuddin, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Mian Muhammad Rafiq, Umar Farooq, Arif Abbasi, Dr Farzana and Majid Zahoor also spoke on the resolution.
On another resolution by Dr Najma Afzal Khan, the House was told by Minister Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rahman that the government had included a chapter about the rights of women and their importance in the nation building in Urdu textbooks from Class 8 up to intermediate level.