Pakistan to block access to Facebook?

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Lahore, Sept 20: The Pakistani authorities have been directed by the Lahore High Court to block access to all websites including Facebook (FB) involved in spreading religious hatred.

The order issued by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed on Sept 19 directed the Information Technology Ministry to "deny access to all websites in Pakistan involved in spreading religious hatred".

The judge however said that access to Google or other search engines should not be refused adding that authorities submit a report on the court's order by Oct 6.

The order came in response to a petition that sought a permanent ban on US based FB for entertaining a competition on the caricature of Prophet Mohammad.

Muhammad Azhar Siddique, a lawyer by profession who filed the petition said that Islamic values were being hurt world over in the name of technology.

He further said that despite ordering to block websites by the High Court, the Information Technology Ministry did not block websites that spread religious hatred.

Siddique also asked the court that federal government be directed to stop showing blasphemous material by any religion or stop insulting the Prophet on all websites in the country.

He also said that a permanent authority should be established with legal status by the government that supervised such "objectionable activities" throughout the world.

Pakistani authorities, on the orders of the Lahore High Court, had in brief barred access to Facebook.

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