PHC orders two Facebook pages be blocked for 'blasphemy'

Published: May 29, 2013
Petitioner refuses to share links in open court fearing it could incite violence.

Petitioner refuses to share links in open court fearing it could incite violence.

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday ordered authorities to block Facebook pages allegedly containing blasphemous content.

A division bench comprising PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Qaiser Rashid also sought a reply from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Information and Broadcast, secret agencies and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on a petition filed by Advocate Arif Jan.

Jan argued two pages on the social media website, Facebook, contained blasphemous material. The petitioner, who has already reportedly appraised the court on the pages, refused to share the links in open court fearing nationwide protests.

The bench ordered the PTA to block the pages within three days, further directing the mentioned authorities to submit their replies on the matter within 20 days.

Jan told journalists the reason he refused to share the link in open court was because it would lead to protests and cause political and religious parties to try and score points with the public.

On May 22, the PHC had directed petitioner Mian Muhibullah Kakakhel to collect information on whether the PTA could filter blasphemous material being uploaded to YouTube. Kakakhel had requested the court order the website be unblocked as people used YouTube to obtain information.

Kakakhel had said YouTube was banned in Pakistan after blasphemous material was uploaded. He argued, however, that the PTA needed to remove the unwanted material so people could continue getting information from the video-sharing website.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Final Solution
    May 29, 2013 - 12:29AM

    And what about pages made by Pakistani Muslims ridiculing and abusing other religions and even different muslim sects?


  • May 29, 2013 - 2:08PM

    The retards who work at PTA (and those who instruct them) couldn’t get ONE ‘blasphemous’ YouTube video blocked in Pakistan (there IS a procedure for it, that Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries followed). So instead they blocked the entire YouTube site. And now, the same fools are going to get Facebook blocked. Meri rozi roti tou gayee.


  • Mj
    May 29, 2013 - 2:44PM

    “Jan told journalists the reason he refused to share the link in open court was because it would lead to protests and cause political and religious parties to try and score points with the public.”

    How ridiculous.


  • May 29, 2013 - 2:48PM

    Blocking a social website is not a proper solution. We should point out those culprits who are doing that piece of mess. I strongly condemn that mess but as a Social Media Expert, Facebook and YouTube are source of income and information for me. It’s not easy to buy the full-version IP changing software that access the banned websites, so the ban should be lifted from YouTube.


  • IZ
    May 29, 2013 - 3:03PM

    I heard someone once wrote a blasphemous book – we should now outlaw all printing presses.


  • May 29, 2013 - 3:07PM

    I run a digital agency based in Lahore, Pakistan providing direct employment to 6 individuals. Everyday there is a new hurdle to face, no electricity, senseless blanket bans on YouTube (we used to get a lot of training material from there), internet outages due to cable cuts, fuel shortages, the list is endless. Lest we forget the world is forging ahead and we’re busy trying to go back to the caves…. If this ban is implemented I will need to shut my business down.
    Plus at this rate I think I should prepare my kids to hunt and light fire from wood because those will be skills needed to survive in Pakistan in 2030. :/


  • Tabdeeli
    May 29, 2013 - 3:13PM

    This is one of the Page blocked in Pakistan


  • arif heller
    May 29, 2013 - 3:15PM

    it takes 10 minutes to make a new page on FB. lets see how fast PTA can get their court orders for each new page ;)


  • Zaida P
    May 29, 2013 - 3:21PM

    There are literally thousands of sites that ridicule Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism. They don’t take any notice of it. By resorting to these ridiculous bans, Pakistan is only encouraging the perpetrators. What is wrong in just ignoring them like every other religion does?


  • Fudge
    May 29, 2013 - 4:01PM

    The Internet is a whole world out there! Those who like to ban everything, left, right and center need to know that just how you cannot control everybody on this planet you cannot control what goes on these social media sites! It is ridiculous to even assume you can!

    Learn to take bad with the good and please don’t pay attention, it only serves their purpose!

    OR, let’s just ban computers/phones, internet, books, education, and electricity in Pakistan because somebody, somewhere abused them at some point in time.


  • Polytheist
    May 29, 2013 - 4:27PM

    @Zaida P:
    Nor have those faiths been hurt or humiliated.some mentally retarded guys rant and that makes no difference to the faithful of these religions.they have been around longer than many of the newer and recent faiths.


  • doom
    May 29, 2013 - 4:38PM

    How is that ridiculous? That’s exactly what happens. And some obscure page becomes world famous overnight, and the alleged blasphemy gets even more publicized.

    People who end up publicizing blasphemous material should also be tried for blasphemy. That would be one way to put a cap on these time-and-resource-wasting cases that achieve absolutely nothing in the long run (except create even more problems).


  • SecularlyYours
    May 29, 2013 - 4:48PM

    Will Pakistan and Pakistanis EVER learn the meaning of freedom of expression and thought?
    Is your religion so weak that a simple challenge of ideas can crush it? Thank god I’m an atheist and no longer a Muslim. Get a grip on yourselves & stop crying every time someone calls out on your fallacies.


  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2013 - 5:13PM

    ‘Thank god’ you’re an atheist? LOL


  • CrankShaft
    May 29, 2013 - 5:46PM

    I could think of thousands of more important issues that the PTA and PHC could take up but ill just point out two:

    PHC could take up the issue of FEMALE VOTERS being STOPPED from VOTING in DIR and surrounding areas.
    PTA should start taking its regulatory function seriously and look at PTCL being a MONOPOLY that has been harmful for the Pakistani consumer.

    But somehow it seems they spend most of their time trying to find blasphemous or pornographic material and banning it. Just shows where the priorities of these two institutions lie.


  • Bloom
    May 30, 2013 - 11:43AM

    When will Pakistan start addressing the real problems? Why is there an even notice of such useless incidence. I don’t remember reading the prophets banning and killing everyone who spoke against them, unless there was an open war, you educate people and leave the rest idiots be. A mentally ill person makes a page and hundreds other people lose their privilege to do something useful or get somethings from the same page. I love YouTube recipes and nursery rhymes for my kid.


  • Final Solution
    Jun 6, 2013 - 1:14PM page was never blasphemous. It was just putting up historically, political and religiously correct posts in urdu and questioning the stagnant pakistani mindset what is normally put up in english, hence it was reaching a wider audience unfamiliar with english medium. And that showed the true colours of the majority of people who are quick to label others kafir with a difference of opinion.


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