Facebook to send team to Pakistan to address ‘blasphemy’ concerns | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Facebook to send team to Pakistan to address ‘blasphemy’ concerns

A person found guilty under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws can be sentenced to death. Last week, the Pakistan Parliament passed a resolution against such content shared on Facebook.

world Updated: Mar 17, 2017 22:00 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
The interior ministry said Facebook’s administration has responded positively to a request from Pakistan.
The interior ministry said Facebook’s administration has responded positively to a request from Pakistan.(Reuters)

Pakistan has said a team from Facebook will arrive in the country to address Islamabad’s reservations over what it calls “blasphemous and objectionable material” being distributed on the social media platform.

A spokesperson for the interior ministry said Facebook’s administration had responded positively to a request from the government and “on Thursday agreed to send a delegation to resolve Pakistan’s reservations”.

The spokesperson said Facebook’s management also conveyed to the authorities that it was aware of Pakistan’s reservations and wanted to settle the issue through mutual consultation and dialogue.

In a separate development, the regulator of the telecom sector – Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) – has appointed a focal person to be in constant contact with Facebook’s administration.

Last week, the Parliament passed a resolution against “blasphemous” content shared on Facebook.

On Wednesday, interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told reporters the government is determined to use every option to remove blasphemous material from Facebook and other social media sites.

He was hopeful Facebook’s management would “respect the religious sentiments of 200 million people of Pakistan and millions of other users, and extend its complete cooperation”.

Khan said he had also directed investigation agencies to identify elements involved in allegedly spreading blasphemous material on social media.

A person found guilty under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws can be sentenced to death. The laws also have stringent punishments for anyone convicted of spreading blasphemous materials. Rights activists say the laws have been misused to settle personal scores or to persecute members of minority communities.