LHC cancels orders to ban Yahoo, Google, MSN

Published: June 28, 2010

A petition has been filed calling for the ban of multiple major websites in Pakistan.

LAHORE: 

The Bahawalpur bench of the Lahore High Court has cancelled its orders for the ban of seventeen websites containig blasphemous material on Monday.

After assurances by Muhammad Hussain Azad, Deputy Attorney General Pakistan, the bench led by Justice Mazhar Iqbal Sindhu quashed the stay orders for the ban of 17 websites including Yahoo, MSN and Google. The Deputy AG assured that the issue of a blanket ban on websites has been resolved, while the LHC appreciated the efforts of the government in this regard.

A draft of the PTA’s new system and rules regarding blockage of websites was recently leaked online.

Ali Asghar, Director Law, PTA also appeared in the court today (Monday) for guaranteeing the blockage of all websites allowing access to sacrilegious material. Justice Mazhar Iqbal Sindhu has also given special instructions to the  to set up a proper monitoring system and set of rules to block such offensive material on the internet.

The petitioner Latif-ur-rehman advocate appreciated the actions of PTA for banning the alleged websites and has taken back the petition against PTA and the Federation for contempt of court. The petitioner said that the case was withdrawn because the issue was becoming ‘too sensitive’ and they have decided to trust the system being put in place.

The court has been adjourned till September 22, in which time a committee of ulema who are also experts in the field of information technology will review the efforts of the government in that time.

Reader Comments (15)

  • Jun 28, 2010 - 7:21PM

    All in All, they are not that nice :P, But i still have a question..Punjab* has so many issues/problems to address why in the world dear LHC is not looking into them ?

    Anyone wanna share Why is that so ??

    *= The reason I mentioned Punjab is LHC has been active throughout the banning season and i had no intentions to harm the thoughts of anyone. I do agree somehow all the country is going through so many issues. I hope this clarifies the point.Recommend

  • Jun 28, 2010 - 7:31PM

    oh no it must have been banned so that bloggers from everywhere gets further chance to make hate speeches against LHC etc and this cancellation indirectly means most of the 196 comments made on below link were just like jumping on the boat

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/23217/pakistan-may-ban-yahoo-google-msn/Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jun 28, 2010 - 9:32PM

    I well come the decision of Lahore High Court but at the same time does not want to see to any website which contains blasphemous material.

    It the duty of the PTA and the Government of Pakistan to keep an eye on blasphemous websites and put a complete ban on such websites that disturbs the sentiments of Muslim Ummah.Recommend

  • Juko
    Jun 28, 2010 - 9:51PM

    I dont want any government telling me what is right for me! they arent providing me social security…or any securty for that matter so that pretty much leaves me to fend for myself! and i certainly dont want anyone to tell me what sort of a relationship i should have with any god that i choose to believe in!Recommend

  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    Jun 28, 2010 - 10:05PM

    It is unfortunate that we are wasting our precious resources on absolutely petty issues.

    Tomorrow someone may come forward petetioning a bench to ban TV, Radio, Newspapers, Bookshops etc. Is perceprtion not quite subjective?

    Let nothing be banned by law! Let us grow and graduate to have the good sense and ability to distinguish the good from the bad.

    Persons belonging to such school of thought do not appreciate that the common man strives to look for the banned stuff.Recommend

  • Bangash
    Jun 28, 2010 - 10:42PM

    What a complete and utter waste of time and money.Recommend

  • Averoes
    Jun 28, 2010 - 11:24PM

    @Syed A. Mateen: It is NOT the duty of the PTA and the Government of Pakistan to keep an eye on blasphemous websites. And if someone’s sentiments gets disturbed by something on the Internet, they should not go look at it. The Internet unlike television or radio is a Unicast medium. You see what you choose to see. And do you really think that banning will achieve anything? Those who want to access offensive material, can easily do so, with or without the ban. Recommend

  • Adil Dastoor
    Jun 29, 2010 - 8:59AM

    First & foremost we must answer is “blasphemy” and Islamic law ??
    According to Karen Armstrong the law was introduced in the Shariat 600 year after the death of the prophet, as the rulers then wanted some legal point to secure their rule, against their opponents.

    Secondly Islam is the only religion which categorically states that any sin committed against the God is only punishable for forgiveable by Him.

    So as per my understanding no human is allowed by Islamic law to scrutinize a fellow human in this matter, forget giving a verdict.

    Now to the “ban” we fight to ban the foreign websites which spreads anti Islamic views.
    Why don’t we look into our TV channels & programs which spreads hatreds amongst Muslims and prompts/justifies murders of fellow Muslims or for that matter Pakistanis.Recommend

  • tanveer
    Jun 29, 2010 - 10:35AM

    I don’t know what is happening to all those “Muslims”. I think so if the govt. is banning blasphemous contents, it is good and we should appreciate this deed. At least our govt. is this much aware. Recommend

  • uXuf
    Jun 29, 2010 - 1:13PM

    @tanveer: What you don’t realize, my friend, is that perception is really subjective (as another poster wrote above). There are two main issues here:
    1. Setting a precedent to “ban” selected websites (on whatever criteria) is very dangerous, especially for our country.
    2. The Internet is not a medium like TV, or radio. Their are no barriers to entry, so anyone and everyone can post whatsoever they want on the Internet. Banning websites on the Internet is like trying to stop the mighty Indus, but only with your own two hands.
    3. (Bonus) It’s NOT the duty of the government to meddle into people’s private lives. People themselves should be mature enough to differentiate between what’s right for them and what isn’t, and what to look at and what to avoid.

    (Extra bonus) We all wildly profess our love for all things Islam, and would gladly throw our lives away for its sanctity, but how many of us actually practice the core tenets of Islam? Leave everything aside, is there such a thing as “honesty” in this country?Recommend

  • Jun 29, 2010 - 1:42PM

    So my question would be, what of those blasphemous acts by our own learned gentlemen who have actually visited the sacrilegious material online from within our own state of Pakistan, copied the content to their own PCs, edited them, printed and then distributed to the various madrasas and mosques and also in public in various parts of the country? Someone tell me if that does not amount to blasphemy by those who very much proclaim to be the protectors of our religious faith?

    What strikes me is that these people who firstly launched this campaign and got the LHC involved were utterly stupid and blasphemous themselves, thus they searched up such material first, and then also the LHC bench being another idiotic lot who also couldn’t come up with a sound question as to HOW this material was acquired, for which these petitioners are seeking a ban, so that others don’t see it. Why did they go there themselves? If the judges bench at the LHC is so sound, did they even use their brains for the minutest part of a second before agreeing outrightly? What kind of ridiculous people are we coming across … and worse, how do such people even qualify to sit in the honorable courts of law? I have a right to ask this question, and hence I want a justifiable answer from someone who can do so without slinging allegations or useless points on anyone.Recommend

  • Umayr Masud
    Jun 29, 2010 - 2:18PM

    Regarding PTA’s new system for blockages of websites.

    Banning of Blasphemous content in Pakistan is beyond comprehension (as hardly anyone would view it by choice anyway). PTA should first post statistics of Pakistani users accessing these (sacrilegious) sites and then we can asses if its a threat to “ISLAM/PAKISTAN/OUR FEELINGS” etc . The idea that due to such content on the internet the flow of information should be controlled is absurd. It would be similar to banning all travel outside Pakistan because of infidels inhabiting the planet.Recommend

  • Ghausia
    Jun 29, 2010 - 11:06PM

    I love the fact that the end of the article talks about ulema that are experts in IT. I thought all ulemas were fundies and thus against Internet, how are they going to give a non-biased response to something created and controlled by ‘kafirs’? Like they won’t love to ban every single foreign thing while their own kids study and live in foreign countries? Please. Like we’re that stupid.Recommend

  • Laiba Jehangiri
    Jun 30, 2010 - 4:51PM

    Good move.Recommend

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