No Evidence of Blasphemy Found Against Five Bloggers: FIA

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has informed Islamabad High Court (IHC) that no evidence was found against five bloggers allegedly involved in posting blasphemous contents on social media pages earlier this year.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui observed that blasphemy is an offence that falls under terrorism but falsely accusing someone of committing this act is an equally heinous crime. The judge further said there should be no further proceedings against those found wrongly accused of committing blasphemy.

The court will look into whether the petitioner leveled false accusations or the evidence was incomplete, he added.

Justice Siddiqui noted that sectarianism has become a major problem in Pakistan and the country is heading down a negative path.

The FIA officials told the court that four individuals accused of posting blasphemous content had left the country and were investigated by the Interpol.

The FIA has contacted Interpol officials and the investigation has been completed. The challans will be submitted to court soon, they added.

The court ordered the Interior Ministry and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to prepare a joint working paper on the case.

The PTA officials told the court that their web analysis wing is regularly blocking and reporting blasphemous contents.

Justice Siddiqui requested TV channels to run public messages that blasphemy is a crime that falls within the ambit of terrorism.

The court issued notices to the FIA, PTA, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulation Authority (Pemra) and Interior Ministry to comply with its decision and submit a report by January 26.

Five bloggers – Salman Haider, Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed, Ahmed Raza and Samar Abbas – had gone missing in the first and second weeks of January from different parts of the country.

Shortly after their disappearance, blasphemy allegations against them had appeared on social media as well as in a complaint to police.