LHC directs federal govt to block blasphemous material on Google, YouTube

block blasphemous material on Google
Lahore High Court

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Thursday directed the federal government to block all blasphemous material available on Google and YouTube and to move the International Court for Justice against the sacrilegious film that sparked outrage in the Muslim world.

The orders were issued during the hearing of a petition filed by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leaders seeking a ban on blasphemous material available on the internet and one filed by Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) leader Hafiz Saaed pertaining to the film.Justice Ijazula Ahsan, issuing the first order, also directed the federal government to file its reply by September 8; the next date of hearing.For the second order, the LHC issued a notice to the federal government to submit a reply within three weeks.

Justice Saghir Ahmed Qadri admitted the petition for regular hearing. Advocate AK Dogar, the counsel for the petitioners, submitted that US President Obama said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly that he condemned the anti-Islam movie but he strongly defended the US constitutional protection of freedom of expression.The petitioner said that mere denial of the holocaust is a crime in many western countries as German author and historian Ernst Zundel spent seven years of his life behind the bars for expressing his views about the holocaust.

He further said that the foreign policy of Pakistan needs to be restructured and regulated in the light of Article 40 of the Constitution which envisages strengthening bonds with Muslim world and promoting international peace.Hafiz Saeed prayed that the relationship of ‘absolute servility’ between Pakistan and US should be declared contrary to the fundamental rights of “dignity of man” enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution.He further prayed that the government be directed to initiate proceedings before ICJ for violation of Article 18 of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and the profane movie makers be prosecuted and convicted for a crime against humanity. – PT