LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has directed the federal government to block all blasphemous material on Google and YouTube.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan issued this order on Thursday, also directing the federal government to file its reply by November 8.
The judge was conducting proceedings on a petition filed by Jamaat-i-Islami leaders seeking a ban on blasphemous material on the Internet. The petition was filed by Liaqat Baloch and Farid Ahmed Paracha of the JI.
Hafiz Saeed petition
Meanwhile, on a petition filed by Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed for directions to the federal government to move the International Court of Justice against the makers of an anti-Islam movie, the Lahore High Court issued notice to the federal government to reply within three weeks.
Justice Saghir Ahmed Qadri admitted the petition for regular hearing. Advocate AK Dogar, counsel for the petitioners, submitted that US President Barack Obama had in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly condemned the anti-Islam movie, but also defended the US constitutional protection for freedom of expression.
The petitioner said that mere denial of the Holocaust was a crime in many Western countries. For example, German author Ernst Zundel had spent seven years behind bars for expressing contrary views about the Holocaust.
He said that Pakistan’s foreign policy needs to be restructured and in the light of Article 40 of the Constitution, which envisages Pakistan strengthening ties with the Muslim world and promoting international peace.
Saeed said that “the relationship of absolute servility” between Pakistan and the US should be declared contrary to the fundamental right to dignity enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution. He said the government should be directed to initiate proceedings in the International Court of Justice against the makers of the anti-Islam movie for violating Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The film makers should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, he said.
Correction: An earlier version of this article had incorrectly stated that the LHC had directed the federal government to move the ICJ. The correction has been made.