Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Khan said in a press conference that more than 60 Facebook Pages and about 45 websites containing blasphemous material have been blocked in Pakistan in the last couple of days. Facebook has also agreed to address Pakistan’s concerns over this issue and a delegate will visit Pakistan this week in this regard.
A couple of weeks ago, a petition was filed in Islamabad High Court by the Civil Society to shut down Facebook until the sacrilegious content is permanently removed. Prime Minister took notice of the incident and directed all relevant authorities to identify the people behind this propaganda and take strict legal action against such individuals. Addressing the press conference, Interior Minister said,
“The blasphemous material has been making rounds on social media for a long time now. Since PM and High Court directed me to take this responsibility, I have taken it as a national and religious obligation. The faith of Muslims is incomplete without the respect of Hazrat Muhammad SAWW. We have made a lot of progress in this regard. We’ve talked with the ambassador in Washington and Pakistan’s representative in UN, Maleeha Lodhi.”
He also said that they are in talks with Facebook management and American Government to look into the matter as “this is intolerable for us”. Quoting the letter from Facebook’s Vice President, Minister said,
“I wanted to reiterate that Facebook takes the concerns raised by the Pakistani government very seriously. We have also committed our representative to meet with you and senior officials of your government.”
The Minister said that the response from Facebook was a big improvement as the social media giant hadn’t responded to such complaints in the past. He added that Pakistan govt has also written a letter to Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in order to evolve a consensus among Muslim nations on blasphemy.
A few days ago, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested three suspects for posting blasphemous content on social media and seized their mobile phones and laptops. Facebook has recently taken down 85 percent of disrespectful content from the social networking website on the request of Pakistan Government.