FAISALABAD: A case for the arrest of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Cultural Editor of Danish Newspaper Fleming Rose, for allowing ‘blasphemous’ caricatures of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), was registered at the Kotwali Police Station in Jhang.
The case, FIR no 134/12, was registered after Advocate Muhammad Zahid Saeed, stirred by websites allegedly demeaning the Prophet (pbuh), filed a petition before the District Session Judge seeking a ban on websites including Facebook, YouTube, Google and others.
This is not the first time that a ban has been suggested or imposed on Facebook, YouTube and other sites in Pakistan. In September 2011, the Lahore High Court ordered the ministry of information technology to block access to all websites spreading religious hatred. The judge had, however, made it clear that no search engine, including Google, would be blocked.
Despite this assurance, a case was registered under Section 295-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PCC) which deals with blasphemy.
Maintaining that the sentiments of the whole Muslim community were hurt, Saeed filed the petition under Section 22-A, 22-B of the Criminal Procedure of Code (CPC).
In his petition, Saeed said that on visiting some websites while on the internet, he and his companion found caricatures of the Prophet (pbuh) published which, he alleged, were "trying to create a war between Muslims and non-Muslims".
He added that the caricatures were a form of “international terrorism and evil profession”.
Session Judge Arshad Masood responded to the petition by saying that the “deliberate and malicious act” of displaying derogatory caricatures is a “continuing offence” and a case must be registered in Pakistan and anywhere else in the world where the sentiments of Muslims were hurt.
Masood ordered the DPO Jhang and the Inspector General of Police, Lahore, to examine the matter in light of the petition and to pass an order if any cognizable offence was found to be made.
The Kotwali police, on receiving the court order, registered the case and assigned the task of investigation to Qaisar Younus.
Younus, while talking to The Express Tribune, said that after collecting the evidence and recording the statements of the petitioner and other witnesses, he would proceed for the arrest of the accused.
The petitioner had maintained that the proceedings against the accused should be served through the Danish Ambassador and US Ambassador in Pakistan.