LHC Orders Blocking of Google, Yahoo, 7 other sites

The Lahore High Court has directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to immediately block nine websites for publishing and promoting sacrilegious material, and ordered the PTA chairman to appear in the court on June 28, 2010 along with all relevant material, reported The News, Daily Jang, Daily Express and other newspapers today.

Justice Mazher Iqbal Sidhu of the LHC Bahawalpur Bench, while hearing a write petition on Tuesday, ordered blocking of nine websites including Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, YouTube, Google, Islam Exposed, In The Name Of Allah, Amazon and Bing.

A citizen, Muhammad Sidiq, filed a writ petition No. 3246/2010 in the LHC, seeking a ban on the websites for publishing blasphemous materials and twisting the facts and figure of Holy Quran. Deputy Attorney General Muhammad Hussain Azad also endorsed the viewpoint of the petitioner and demanded blocking of these websites.

Counsel for the petitioner, Latif-ur-Rehman Advocate presented CDs and other evidence in the court, showing that the said websites were publishing sacrilegious material.

Later, President High Court Bar Aslam Dhakkar said the court has given a historic decision. He said the legal fraternity would observe a complete strike in Bahawalpur on Wednesday (today) against publication of such material by these websites. He said a meeting would also discuss the situation today.

We are trying to contact PTA to know what they have to say on this, but phones are not responding as of now.

Via The News, Daily Express

Update: PTA isn’t confirming the ban order officially – ISPs have not received any ban directives for any website as of now.

Update 2: PTA has confirmed us officially that they haven’t received any directive from Ministry or any other department regarding the said ban.

Update 3: IT Ministry has received ban orders from LHC