Petition filed in Pak court against blasphemous matter on internet

M Zulqernain
·2-min read

Lahore, Dec 29 (PTI) A petition has been filed in a Pakistani court seeking a directive for the government to get the name of the minority Ahmadi community leader as a 'caliph of Islam' removed from Google.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has already issued notices to Google Inc and Wikipedia on the issue.

Petitioner Advocate Azhar Haseeb told the Lahore High Court that Ahmadi community's 'present khalifa (caliph) of Islam' Mirza Masroor Ahmad and an 'unauthentic version' of Quran have been uploaded on Google.

He requested the LHC to issue a directive for the government to take up the matter with Google and other Internet forums to get the name of 'so-called caliph of Islam' removed.

Taking up the petition, LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan asked a federal law officer if the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has the jurisdiction to lodge a case against search engine like Google.

Justice Khan asked the law officer as to what action the FIA could take if someone from outside the country was involved in spreading blasphemous material on the internet.

The law officer told the court that the FIA is responsible for taking action against any objectionable and blasphemous material available on Internet.

The court then directed the law officer to assist it on a point whether the FIA could register a case against Google if any blasphemous material is not removed.

The court also said the FIA should establish a separate wing to deal with blasphemous material on Internet and adjourned the hearing till Wednesday.

On the other hand, the PTA said the Ahmadi leader posing himself as 'caliph of Islam' and an 'unauthentic version' of Quran on Internet is a very serious nature and should be addressed forthwith.

'We want Google Inc to immediately remove the unlawful content,” it said in a notice to the search engine last week.

'Google Inc and Wikipedia have been issued the notice under the Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguard) Rules 2020 to remove sacrilegious content to avoid any legal action by the regulator,' the PTA said.

When contacted by PTI, an Ahmadi community official said it is not possible to comment on the matter at this moment.

Pakistan's Parliament in 1974 declared the Ahmadi community as non-Muslims. A decade later, they were banned from calling themselves Muslims. They are banned from preaching and from travelling to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage.

In Pakistan, around 10 million out of the 220 million population are non-Muslims. PTI MZ ZH ZH