LAHORE – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday directed the federal government to block all blasphemous material available at Google and Youtube.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan also directed the federal government to file its reply by September 8.
The court issued the orders on a petition moved by Jamat-e-Islami leaders Liaqat Baloch and Farid Ahmed Paracha seeking ban on blasphemous material available on internet.
In another petition filed by Jamatud Dawa head Hafiz Saeed for direction to the federal government to move the international court of justice against blasphemous movie, Justice Sagheer Ahmad Qadri sought reply with in three weeks after admitting the petition for regular hearing.
Advocate AK Dogar, the counsel for petitioners, submitted that US president Obama said in a speech to United Nations general assembly that he condemned the anti-Islam movie but he strongly defended the US constitutional protection of the freedom of expression.
The petitioner said that mere denial of the holocaust is a crime in many western countries as a German author and historian Ernst Zundel spent seven years of his life behind the bars for expressing his views about the holocaust.
He further said that the foreign policy of Pakistan needs to be restructured and regulated in the light of Article 40 of the Constitution which envisages strengthening bonds with Muslim world and promoting international peace.
Hafiz Saeed prayed the court that the relationship of ‘absolute servility’ between Pakistan and US should be declared contrary to fundamental rights of “dignity of man” enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution. He further prayed that the government be directed to initiate proceedings before ICJ for violation of Article 18 of “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and the profane movie makers be prosecuted and convicted for a crime against humanity.
Also, the Lahore High Court has been urged to start contempt of court proceedings against Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and officials of city district government for not implementing the court order for removal of constructions made on the ‘Dongi Ground’ of Gulburg and restoring the park into its original shape.
Ahmad Irman Ghazi filed the contempt of court petition and stated the high court had in 2011 ordered the Punjab government to remove all the constructions made on the ‘Dongi Ground’ by the government and bring the park into its real shape. The petitioner said that the court had also directed authorities to take action against official involved in constructing buildings on the park.
Former Punjab chief minister Ch Pervaiz Elahi had started the project in 2006, with the aim of constructing a multi-million project of IMAX theatre and a shopping mall at the Doongi Ground. However after long litigation, a full bench of the LHC had in September 2011 allowed the Punjab government to construct a parking plaza, library and bowling alley on 18 percent of the 39 kanal area of Doongi Ground, Gulberg, while the remaining area would still serve as a public park.
He pointed out Shahbaz Sharif in his statement in 2009 also promised to restore the park in its original shape. But, now the chief minister had approved construction of a library on whole area, 39 kanal, he added.
The petitioner prayed the court to punish Punjab chief minister, commissioner Lahore division, district coordination officer and director general of Lahore development authority after initiating contempt proceedings against them.