Facebook to send delegation to Pakistan over blasphemy issue

Social media giant Facebook has agreed to send a delegation to Pakistan for talks with Pakistani officials over blasphemy issue after the government threatened to permanently block all the major social media websites.

The Pakistani government threatened to permanently block major social media websites including Facebook if they refuse to cooperate in removing blasphemous content.

Facebook has nominated a focal person to contact Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Facebook administration is hopeful that dialogues would lead to the permanent solution to the issue.

Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan called the administration of social networking websites Facebook and Twitter to report to Pakistan about people behind blasphemous content. He emphasized the assistance of Facebook and other social networking websites to seize the offenders.

He further stated that this has become an international issue. Such content had been posted online for several years and it was surprising that no other Muslim country had raised this issue.

He assured to take necessary steps against the blasphemous content and to represent the global Muslim community on this issue.

Earlier, Nisar had said that the government would go to any extent to prevent publication of blasphemous content on the internet after a Pakistani court ordered the government to open an investigation into online blasphemy.

Islamabad High Court (IHC) had ordered the government to block blasphemous content from the social media, directing authorities to put names of the blasphemers on the Exit Control List (ECL).

IHC Judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui said,

“All of us have to collectively eliminate this evil. Even if we cannot stop this around the world, but in Pakistan, we can make sure that no one dares disrespect our sacred personalities of Islam.”

Cooperation from the United States Administration was also being sought through the US Embassy in Pakistan in this regard.