The IHC bench comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui is hearing the case regarding blasphemous material on the social media, especially Facebook. The single-judge bench clearly directed the authorities on Wednesday to suspend Facebook in the country if it does not block blasphemous material.
The bench was informed about the progress made by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The DG FIA said they have completed the investigations and a case has been registered couple of days ago. We have arrested a man allegedly involved in sharing such content and names of several others have been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), he added.
During hearing, the Director FIA told the court that some 70 persons were identified who were running controversial pages on social media but many of them were living abroad.
He said that a focal person was deputed in Washington to tackle the issue whereas consultation is on for a case in world court. He said FIA was also in contact with the top officials of Facebook as well as cybercrime wing of Interpol as the contentious material was being uploaded through Facebook. “Now the agency is waiting for reply from them,” he said.
Justice Shaukat asked the Interior Secretary, as to why the government is not seeking FIA’s help to remove blasphemous content. To this, he said, we are coordinating with the FIA and all possible steps are being taken to address the problem.
Advocate General Islamabad said the social media company takes two to three weeks in sharing required information.
The judge remarked that this issue is very sensitive. Block Facebook till the issue is resolved and inform the company about it, he said.
“We do not need social media if it cannot stop blasphemy”.
Justice Shaukat said all the departments including Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) are hurling responsibility of the case at each other.
He further instructed interior ministry, information ministry and PTA to submit report till March 27 and said that the decision about the suspension of social media will be taken in next hearing on Monday.