LHC issues notice to PTA
LAHORE: Justice Malik Shehzad Ahmed Khan of the Lahore High Court (LHC), on Friday, issued notice to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Ministry of Religious Affairs on a petition filed in LHC requesting to direct the minister of telecommunications to control circulation of obscene literature on Internet.
The judge directed the respondents to file replies within four weeks. A local citizen, Sohaib Ahmad, had filed the petition.
The petitioner’s counsel, Fahad Ahmad Siddiqui, stated that the popularisation of Internet by the government was a welcome step as it gave easy excess to information. However, he said that for the youth the path was full of dangers, as they had to browse through junk e-mails that lured them towards websites containing obscene material. It was very difficult to contain the rain of smut on the Internet and protect children from it, the petitioner said.
Siddiqui said that being an Islamic state, Pakistan’s constitution laid down the principle that the government had to take steps to enable Muslims to live their lives in accordance with the fundamental principles and basic concepts of Islam.
He stated that it was undertaken in the constitution that the state shall take necessary steps for social justice, eradication of social evils and shall prevent prostitution, gambling, use of injurious drugs, printing, publication, circulation and display of obscene literature and advertisements.
He stated that fearing pornographic surfing by children and employees, parents and businessmen had urged the government to introduce filtering devices on the Internet that deny access to such pornographic sites.
Siddiqui said that despite repeated caution notes raised by the media in general and the parents in particular, the respondents paid no heed to the issue.
He said that allowing such kind of material on the Internet inflicted the worst damage on children, a crime justifying sex myths and actual sexual abuse, as well as helping paedophiles to make appointments with the client. He requested that directions be issued to the Ministry of Telecommunications to place a permanent ban on the circulation and display of obscene literature and advertisements on Internet, urging that they should be permanently blocked or banned in Pakistan for displaying pornographic material.