A high court judge has given the Pakistan government a week to implement his order in a case related to uploading of sacrilegious content on social media, a media report said today. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court (IHC) yesterday made these observations as the government failed to submit a compliance report in line with his judgement of March 31, carrying several directions for the government to deal with the proliferation of blasphemous content on social media.
The Dawn reported that the judge warned that in case of non-compliance, the prime minister and other cabinet ministers could be summoned at the next hearing. “If the same attitude continues (to be) exhibited by the executive, this court (will) issue directions for personal appearance of the worthy prime minister of Pakistan, ministers for law, religious affairs and information technology, to face contempt of court proceedings,” Siddiqui said in his order.
The judge added that the “respondents may realise this aspect that in contempt matters, no protection under Article 248 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan is available”. He recalled that former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani had been sent packing in 2012 over contempt of court for failing to implement a court order.
He added that the non-serious attitude of the executive was evident from the fact that eight-and-a-half months had elapsed, but no material steps had been taken to implement the judgement. “I fail to understand why the executive is dealing with this sensitive issue in routine through bureaucratic and political approach (sic),” he stated, adding that the “issues decided through the judgement have direct bearing on the law and order situation in the country, which may put the country in very serious crisis”. The court adjourned the hearing till December 22 and also ordered the special secretary (interior) to appear with a complete progress report.