Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has directed the chairman of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on Wednesday to ensure that social media was being used for healthy interactions instead of maligning “sacred” institutions and personalities.
The interior minister ordered the head of the authority to formulate standard operating procedures for a framework which could ensure that social media was used as a medium for “promoting exchange of ideas and not as a tool to propagate false information, ridiculing sacred personalities, national institutions or jeopardising cultural values of any community”.
Nisar also asked National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq to convene a meeting of all political parties to develop a consensus on the matter and formulate a framework.
The minister gave the directives at a meeting with the interior secretary, the PTA chairman , the National Database and Registration Authority chairman, the Islamabad police chief and senior officials of Federal Investigation Agency, the Islamabad Capital Territory police, and the interior ministry.
Nisar also directed the Foreign Office to contact the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation general secretary for holding a meeting on the issue of blasphemous content on social media as discussed during the dignitary’s last visit to Pakistan.
“Being a democratic government, it it is our obligation to ensure and protect the right of every citizen for the freedom of expression but we are equally bound by the law and constitution of the country to protect our citizenry and institutions from the assault which is carried out through social media under the garb of the freedom of expression,” Nisar maintained.
He added that the right to free speech was linked to a sense of responsibility and ownership.