On Monday, the Interior Ministry informed the Islamabad High Court that Facebook has been active on removing blasphemous content from its platform on Pakistan’s request. For now, around 85 percent of the illegal blasphemous content has been removed successfully.
According to Interior Secretary, Arif Khan, Facebook responded to the letter by the Interior Ministry of Pakistan and has willingly removed all the content that was hurting the sentiments of the Muslims in the country.
Ambassadors from 27 Muslim countries were taken on board during this mission by the Federal Government. Around 3 arrests have been made pertaining to this issue. Out of these three, two were directly involved in posting blasphemous content on the web, he further added.
He went on to say that the law enforcers had found blasphemous content on the suspects’ laptops and mobile devices as well. To investigate the matter further, an interrogation team has been formed.
A question arose on why the Ambassador of the country from where the content was published was not summoned. The interior secretary responded by saying, “Our embassy in Washington has also taken up the matter [with the US government].”
He has also mentioned that banning Facebook is “not the solution of the problem.”
The chairman of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Ismael Shah, has said that a team of 25 members has been formed which is working to search the blasphemous content on the web. So far, the authority has been able to take action against 40 pages posting such content.
He praised the Facebook administration for realizing the problem and said that they have “assured to comply with our demand”.
According to PTA chief, “Facebook agreeing to our demands is a big achievement.”
The IHC Chief Justice Shaukat Siddiqui has also praised the government in their attempts to combat the issue and bringing together 27 other Muslim countries on the same table. However, he has shown displeasure on the performance of the Information Ministry and has asked the IT Minister, Anusha Rehman, to come forward and explain the causes of the delay in overcoming the problem.
He has also asked for a report on amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016.
All the parties have been asked by the court to submit their findings on 31st of March when the hearing of the case will take place.
The Facebook authorities were approached by the government earlier this month regarding the access of three controversial pages which were spreading the blasphemous content. In turn, Facebook responded by saying that it is aware of the reservations held by the government. It also assured that it wants to resolve the issue through mutual understanding and bilateral dialogue between both the parties.
The management of Facebook has also decided to send a delegation to the country for further investigation of the content which has been termed by the government as being blasphemous. The hopes are high that soon enough all the content will be removed from the social media giant.
- facebook removed Blasphemous Content: dawn news