LHC asks govt to raise Facebook issue in UN
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has asked the federal government to raise the issue of blasphemous activity on the Facebook at the United Nations (UN) forum and direct its permanent ambassador to the UN to present a resolution in the General Assembly, conveying the feelings and sentiments of the Muslims who went through distress and discomfort.
Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry observed that the resolution should be in line with the UN resolution “Combating Defamation of Religions” passed in 2005, ordering the government to submit an official copy before the court on directions given to the ambassador.
In case of non-compliance of the court order, the foreign minister would himself appear before the court on June 15 to explain why the order had not been complied with in letter and spirit, the judge said.
The court appreciated the government’s efforts for having the blasphemous content on the Facebook blocked in Pakistan, but expressed reservation over the lack of an effective mechanism to avoid such events in future.
The court also directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the Ministry of Information Technology and all other authorities concerned to come up with guidelines for the implementation of effective control and monitoring regarding access to such profane contents on the Internet.
Although, the UN resolution is non-binding in nature, the critics of the resolution hypothesize its far-reaching consequences to be a deliberate attempt to regulate not just the lives of individuals but also the context, thus, breaching an individual’s universally accepted rights of freedom expressions and speech, he wrote in the order.
He observed that the principles of Islam do not prohibit or limit any individual’s right to “freedom of expression” and speech, rather it emulates the phrase “Your liberty ends where the nose of other persons starts”.
He said the core issue involved in the instant matter was the publication of blasphemous material, which was viewed as a deliberate attempt to malign the very holy and sanctimonious stature of Prophet of Islam (PBUH) and any regulation made for the protection of the deeply sensitive and emotional sentiments should not be viewed as in conflict with an individual’s universally accepted rights of freedom, expressions and speech.
Source: The News