Nisar calls out West’s ‘hypocrisy’ amidst blasphemy clampdown

Pakistan has sought help from the US authorities in its crackdown on online blasphemy, said a minister today, days after a high court ordered action ‘blasphemous’ content on social media.

“Questioning Holocaust isn’t allowed but insulting the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is justified as free speech,” said Chaudhry Nisar, the interior minister, at a press briefing.

“Is it freedom of expression or a disgusting conspiracy against Islam,” he added.

The minister said that the government was taking stern action against ‘blasphemous’ content on social media. “We have blocked many websites containing blasphemous content.

"I have also asked the Foreign Office to appoint a representative in the US to liaison with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and these social media websites on a daily basis," he added.

FIA earlier said it had traced the suspect behind the 'blasphemous' content being uploaded on social media.

It said the main suspect escaped to Sweden on January 30, 2015 from Lahore and had been uploading 'blasphemous' videos and material from there.

The FIA report alleged that the suspect was the leader of an 11-member gang and had facilitators in Pakistan.

The step was taken after the Islamabad High Court asked the Ministry of Interior to erase all ‘blasphemous’ content from social media and track down those who post such content.

Rights groups often oppose Pakistan's blasphemy laws, saying the government should review them. The latest controversy surfaced recently after five Pakistani bloggers mysteriously went missing for several days before returning home. Later, one of them was accused of posting controversial content on social media.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt