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Senate Committee Orders Action Against Blasphemous Content On Social Media

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Senate Standing Committee on Interior Chairman Senator Rehman Malik has taken notice of blasphemous material being circulated online on social media and has asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to take strict action against uploaders of the content.

According to a report in Dawn, Malik has directed the FIA and PTA to raise issue about blasphemous posts with social media sites like Twitter to request the removal of blasphemous content.

A notice issued by the committee secretary stated that the senator had taken notice of blasphemous material being circulated through a Twitter account.

The committee members have maintained that anti-Islam propaganda was against the United Nations Charter on interfaith harmony. They further observed that such content might create law and order situation in the country.

Senator Malik argued that the accounts should be permanently suspended and their handlers should be traced so that legal action can be initiated against them.

He added that if the criminals were outside Pakistan, then Interpol’s help may be sought.

The Senate committee’s statement on this sensitive matter is unnecessary as  people may make fake complaints to the authorities to settle person scores, as has been witnessed in Pakistan before. Such complaints can be dangerous due to the information disseminating potential of social media, and may lead to mob violence.

In 2018, fake social media posts were made against the Ahmadi community in the Ghaseetpura area of Faisalabad, alleging that seven people had been killed due to their firing. The posts resulted in retaliatory violence against the community.

Such could also be the case with false accusations of blasphemy against social media handles, and if the person being accused is living inside the country, they could be at a great risk of mob violence.

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