Thursday, March 16, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Facebook has agreed to send a delegation for talks with Pakistani officials, the interior ministry said Thursday, days after the government threatened to permanently block major social media websites if they refuse to cooperate in removing blasphemous content.
A spokesperson for the ministry said that Facebook has even nominated a focal person to contact Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
The Facebook administration is of the opinion that dialogue regarding the issue would lead to its resolution.
Earlier today, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan called on the administration of social networking websites Facebook and Twitter to share information with Pakistan about people behind the blasphemous content.
Nisar stressed that offenders could not be caught without the assistance of Facebook and other social networking websites.
Last week, Nisar had said that the government would go to any extent to prevent publication of blasphemous content on the internet.
Calling those committing blasphemy the enemies of humanity, Nisar stated that this has become an international issue. He said that such content had been posted online for several years and it was surprising that no other Muslim country had raised this issue.
Promising to take all necessary steps against the blasphemous content, the interior minister said Pakistan would represent the global Muslim community on this issue.
Last week, Nisar had said that the government would go to any extent to prevent publication of blasphemous content on the internet after a Pakistani court ordered the government to open an investigation into online blasphemy.
Islamabad High Court (IHC) had ordered the government to block blasphemous content from the social media, directing authorities to put names of the blasphemers on the Exit Control List (ECL).
IHC Judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui said, "All of us have to collectively eliminate this evil. Even if we cannot stop this around the world, but in Pakistan, we can make sure that no one dares disrespect our sacred personalities of Islam."