Pakistan asks Facebook, social media sites to help fight blasphemy

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Islamabad, Mar 16: Pakistan on Friday urged Facebook and other social media platforms to help in combating blasphemy while vowing to lead the fight against it at the global level.

Pak asks Facebook, social media sites to help fight blasphemy

Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said his county would lead the global Muslim community in combating the blasphemous content on social media platforms. He made the remarks while addressing the media on the issue of alleged prevalence of blasphemous material on social media.

"I have asked the Foreign Office to appoint a representative in the US to liaison with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and these social media websites on a daily basis," he said. Nisar instructed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to hire an international lawyer on the issue.

"They (FIA) have been instructed to find a lawyer that understands international law and can advise us on these matters," he said. Nisar urged the popular social media websites like Facebook to provide information about blasphemous material. "Facebook and other service providers should share all information about the people behind blasphemous content with us," he said.

Nisar said such content has been posted on social media websites for years and expressed surprise that no other Muslim country had raised the issue till now. "We will take any steps necessary to make sure that our message against such content gets across to those websites as well as the rest of the world," he said.

Nisar said Pakistan cannot stop posting of blasphemous material from abroad but the FIA has identified such posts from within the country. "We would ensure that those who have committed these crimes do not get away scot-free," he said. His remarks came after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif earlier this week ordered authorities to take immediate action against 'blasphemous' content on the social media and remove sacrilegious contents and punish the perpetrators, days after a high court order.

The Islamabad High Court judge Shuakat Siddiqui last week had directed the interior ministry to take actions against Facebook pages with alleged anti-Islam material. Blasphemy is very sensitive issue in Pakistan and those accused of it become an easy target for extremists.

PTI

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