LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has ordered a ban on all blasphemous material available on CDs and directed cable operators in Pakistan to not air any such material.
The court was hearing a petition on Wednesday seeking a ban on blasphemous material available on the internet in the country.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan ordered, “Blasphemous material on CDs shall not be sold in markets and cable operators shall not air such material through their network.”
During the hearing, the court also issued a notice to chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulator Authority (Pemra), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), and both interior and foreign secretaries to respond by October 5.
The petitioner has also sought action against these officers claiming that they were equally responsible for blasphemy by not blocking access to the anti-Islam film in Pakistan. The petition was filed by Azizur Rehman Sani, a representative of Almi Majlis-e-Tahafuz-e-Khatam-e-Nabuwat.
The court also summoned the Attorney General of Pakistan for assistance in the matter.
Arguing before the court, the petitioner’s counsel Chaudhry Ishtiaq argued that the PTA has failed to fulfill its responsibility in blocking blasphemous video and its links are still available on the internet which are hurting and infuriating the Muslims of the country. The counsel said that officers of the concerned authorities were equally responsible for their alleged negligence and the matter should be taken to a higher level as it was an attempt to destabilise world peace.
He maintained that pictures, movies and dramas on the lives of all Prophets were not allowed in light of order of the Federal Shariat Court, but it was the Pemra chairman under whose authority all such videos and films, made on the lives of the Prophets, were being broadcast on cable network all over the country.
The petitioner prayed to the court that all mediums for such blasphemous material including CDs, videos, pictures, dramas and movies should be banned and their sale should also be stopped.
He further prayed that an inquiry team should be appointed to look into the matter, and officers who were responsible for the existence of the blasphemous movie and other materials should be punished, so that no one could dare to speak against the respect and dignity of all holy Prophets.
After hearing the initial arguments of the petitioner’s counsel, Justice Ahsan ordered the concerned authorities to stop the sale of CDs containing blasphemous material and their airing on cable network.