IHC directs govt to place names of alleged blasphemers on ECL

06:15 PM | 8 Mar, 2017
IHC directs govt to place names of alleged blasphemers on ECL
ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday ordered the government to register cases against alleged blasphemers running social media pages and place their names on the Exit Control List (ECL).

According to Express Tribune, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui while hearing the case said that suspected blasphemers should be put on the ECL before they attempt to leave the country for avoiding legal proceedings under the country’s law.

Justice Siddique directed the authorities to “eliminate this [the blasphemous content]” and for “persons responsible be booked in criminal cases under the relevant provisions of law”.

He remarked that ‘extremist’ liberal and secular part of society were far more dangerous than religious fundamentalists. Justice Siddiqui said material available and shown to the officials inside the chamber revealed that the culprits have attributed “malicious and disgusting” things to the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

On the other hand, PTA chairman, who was present in the court said the elimination of blasphemous material and pages is a difficult task as there is need to go through roughly 1.4 billion pages. He shared that pages showing extremism by liberals were being removed with the help of the Facebook officials.

On this, Justice Siddiqui directed to establish teams for monitoring and scrutinising blasphemous material and removing such content.

The case was filed by Salman Shahid (son-in-law of Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid fame). In his petition, Shahid had argued that the presence of blasphemous content on social media websites was "hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims".

The petitioner alleged that five bloggers – Salman Haider, Ahmed Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed, Ahmed Raza Naseer, and Samar Abbas – created pages like ‘Bhensa’, ‘Mochi’, and ‘Roshni’ to commit blasphemy.