Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday said he has called a meeting of ambassadors from Muslim countries in order to discuss and tackle the issue of blasphemy on social media as “a united Muslim ummah”.
“I have called a meeting on Friday and have invited ambassadors of Muslim countries so we can tackle this very important issue of blasphemy as a united ummah,” said Nisar.
The interior minister added that if the issue is tackled in a united manner by all Muslim countries, it will carry more weight.
“The companies providing social media services will also get a clear message if we take a united stand on the issue.”
Explaining the purpose of the proposed meeting, the interior minister said he will share information with the envoys which was shared with the ministry by the apex court and ask the envoys to inform their respective countries of the agenda put forth.
“Pakistan’s point of view is that we chart a united course of action for respect towards such revered religious personalities,” said Nisar and added that the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) will also be used for the same purpose.
‘Will not be reluctant to take any measures’
The interior minister, reiterating the importance and seriousness of the issue, said Pakistan will not be reluctant to take any measures in order to resolve the issue of blasphemy on social media.
“We will not be reluctant to take any measures for resolving this issue and will proactively pursue it. It is our request that all cooperate with us as this a very sensitive and important issue,” said Nisar.
“Nothing can be greater than our religion to us.”
The interior minister maintained that such activities on social media are “worse than the worst”.
“If social media platforms do not cooperate with us despite all our efforts, then we will take the strictest of measures against such platforms in the country,” added the interior minister.
Nisar expressed hope that Pakistan’s efforts to coordinate and resolve this issue with the help of social media platforms will give positive results.
“Social media is not more important than my religion or faith.”
He also criticized those who had criticized his decision to take strict measures against social media and said he has not specified those measures yet.
“Do not threaten me with consequences as I have yet to disclose what measures we may take against social media platforms.”
Referring to the argument based on freedom of expression, the interior minster said freedom of expression does not entail disrespect to revered religious personalities.
“If an individual even doubts the Holocaust, the Western world takes extreme measures. Than why is it that when it is a question of Islam, a religion followed by more than a billion people, no action is taken?”
The interior minister on the occasion also appreciated the media for portraying the news related to blasphemy on social media in a responsible manner.