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Islamabad HC Directs Pak Govt To Implement Anti-Blasphemy Measures Online

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| December 17 , 2017 , 13:27 IST

The Islamabad High Court ordered the Pakistan government to implement the anti-blasphemy measures as ordered by the court within a week's time. The rule will govern the cases related to the upload action of sacrilegious content on social media platforms.

High Court Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on Friday warned the Prime Minister and other Cabinet ministers that the non-compliance of order can lead to their summon during the next hearing.

Siddiqui's order states, "If the same attitude continues (to be) exhibited by the executive, this court (will) issue directions for personal appearance of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Ministers for Law, Religious Affairs and Information Technology to face contempt of court proceedings."

Recalling the former Premier Yousaf Raza Gillani's situation due to contempt of court, Justice Siddiqui observed the government's failure in submitting a compliance report in accordance of his March 31 judgement, which should have carried the government directions of dealing with the proliferation of blasphemous content on the social media.

Irked by the non-serious attitude of the executives, Justice stated, "eight and half months had elapsed, but no material steps had been taken to implement the judgment." In the latest development, the court has ordered the Special Secretary Interior to present a complete progress report on the matter on December 22.

The Interior Ministry was asked, "to identify NGOs operating in Pakistan with an agenda to spread blasphemy and pornography, with the financial assistance of different groups within or outside Pakistan".

While asking the top leadership of Pakistan to actively assess the issue by monitoring Internet traffic, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority was directed to evolve a comprehensive and delicate mechanism to identify the pages/websites containing blasphemous contents.