The Shameful Saga of the Internet Ban in Pakistan
It was 19th May 2010, when on the orders by Lahore High Court, Government of Pakistan placed a blanket ban on approximately 10,548 websites. From the very outset, we knew that this is NOT the blasphemous content, which is depriving citizens from using Internet and web enabled services. We really wanted to dig a bit deeper as we knew that these were mere ulterior political motives of some pathetic politicians that we have in the current politics, and they were taking whole nation hostage to their vested interests.
This work took a reasonably significant time in investigating the whole saga but results are logical and clearly understandable. However, at every step of reading, shame on these shameless people!
In this article, we will try to unearth these ulterior agendas and how this petition politics was brutally initiated to defame nation, citizens and country’s name in international community.
Let us also express our great concern on the inability of our Apex Courts in discharging justice and that how easily our courts can be blackmailed and knowingly or unknowingly tend to be hostage to such vested interests.
We believe that the courts are there to safeguard citizen’s rights but in this case, they miserably failed. Knowing that most of the judges will be technologically challenged but they could always seek assistance, which they never bothered to really assess the whole case on merits or truthful information. In this saga, we believe that judges are equally responsible in maligning Pakistan’s name in the International community and worst come to worst; they were the ones who played in the hands of these shameless politicians.
Let’s first meet with some of the actors in this saga of shame.
Meet Mr. Azhar Siddique: (Petitioner in Facebook Case) and continually petitioning on all ridiculous matters and there is nobody to stop him from his stupid interventions. This man has no shame that how negatively he is impacting on nation’s name in international community. Shameless person he is!
In 2009, Mr. Siddique was nominated by Mr. Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab for the post of the Lahore High Court Judge. It was during the time, when judicial movement was at its peak and current so called democratic government wanted to install judges of its choice in all higher courts. Chief Minister of Punjab refused to meet him as he had already turned down his candidature to take him as Justice.
Mr. Siddique is known for corruption and embezzlement of funds in the name of welfare of lawyer’s community. He is the one, who continues to seek funds from the Government using blackmailing tactics, while as he do not hold any official position in the lawyer fraternity, morally and ethically he cannot do so. But who cares for ethics and morals here!
As soon as Mr. Siddique knew that Chief Minister is not going to be blackmailed in this case and have refused not only to meet him but also to grant him funds to embezzle, he petitioned against the Chief Minister, the serial petitioner he is:
Yes, he is the same Azhar Siddique, who owns ‘Millat Facebook’, a cheater as he had no shame to steal themes and overall look of original Facebook.
And here comes in this saga, Mr. Babar Awan, Federal Minister for Law. Mr. Awan is known for his corruption, dubious doctorate degree and a character of corrupt politician. These days, he is distributing funds to lawyers in the name of their welfare, actually to breach the unity among lawyers community on various constitutional and legal issues against the current government. He may be successful as well, since there are lawyers of the kind of Mr. Azhar Siddique.
Mr. Awan visited Lahore Bar recently and assigned Funds to the Bar. Mr. Azhar Siddique after getting something, immediately passed a resolution in favour of the corrupt federal minister Babar Awan that he should be given an honorary doctorate degree by universities in Pakistan. His blog and dubious panel called Judicial Activism Panel strongly condemned Punjab government for their remarks against Babar Awan, and demanded Rs. 10 Billion from Punjab government for welfare of lawyers.
The critical question remains that who is blessed with these illegal funds, and why other political parties are showing concern on this distribution of money.
Before we continue, please know that current government backs People’s Lawyer Forum, but unfortunately, there are severe internal conflicts between two factions, one led by Mr. Babar Awan and the other by Mr. Latif Khosa, ex-Attorney General and IT Minister.
Recently, Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Aamir Rehman was removed by Mr. Babar Awan for his post. Sources claim that Aamir Rehman’s removal was an internal conflict, as he was appointed by former attorney general, Latif Khosa.http://tribune.com.pk/story/25816/government-sacks-dag-lahore/
Enmity between Peoples Lawyers Forum spearheaded by (S/O Mr. Latif Khosa) and Mr. Babar Awan===an internal Conflict between PPP>> Where the Federal Law Minister is distributing millions to the bar associations of the country generously, the Federal Counsels appointed by the Pakistan People’s Party are yet to be paid their dues since January 2009. So who is gaining in this power politics at the cost of public funds and nations name? Yes, these are tyrant representatives of current corrupt government.
Role of Mr. Azhar Siddique (Petitioner in Facebook Case) in this dirty power politics
Earlier Petition against Facebook was filed by Islamic Lawyers Movement, later the second petition was filed by Azhar Siddique. Former applicant is out of sight and latter petitioner is now on the front in so called fight against Blasphemous contents but we now know that it is all to get political mileage and corruption of funds.
Is Mr. Siddique really concerned about blasphemous content or he is just a puppet being pushed by someone, who really wanted to remove Khosa from the Ministry of IT.However, great news is that Mr. Latif Khosa, as we all knew was incompetent and irrelevant to be Federal Minister for IT has been finally removed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. An unusually brave move by the Prime Minister and we welcome this news.
So question now is that Why Mr. Azhar Siddique had been so persistent on petitioning and arguing against the IT Ministry that they had miserably failed to block the Facebook and other blasphemous sites. The only logical reason is that this was the link through which, and using people’s emotions and also support from extremist elements, they could easily nail Mr. Latif Khosa, Minister IT. They had no shame that in the process, they were bringing bad name to the nation.
Since Mr. Azhar Siddique was a nominee of the Governor of Punjab to be Justice of High Court, he was obliged and obviously enjoyed benefits from the governor. Here comes another twist to the story, as many of you would know that Mr. Salman Taseer, Governor Punjab owns Broadband and Telecommunication Company called WorldCall. Now WorldCall is a defaulter of billion of rupees to the Government (IT Ministry) and Latif Khosa in his effort to settle political scores with Mr. Taseer gave hard time to the company to recover this public money. Sources told that Sacked Minister is going to present a 3 Page summary to President Zardari tonight against WorldCall, so proves that removal of Khosa was also favouring the sitting Governor of Punjab.
Given several above mentioned complex facts, it is only logical and understandable that Internet Ban Case and continuous petitioning by Mr. Azhar Siddique has malafide intentions and was the result of internal filthy politics of current government.
We demand that Lahore High Court should investigate this before imposing any ridiculous decision on the people of Pakistan. We also demand that Court should not play in the hands of dirty politics and extremist agendas and let people of Pakistan live with civil liberties as guaranteed in the constitution. The courts are there to safeguard citizen’s civil liberties and not to curb them.
This global entertainment on Internet Ban Saga has been presented by Federal Law Minister, Governor Punjab, Federal Minister IT, and the one and only Mr. Azhar Siddique, who in his self righteousness thinks that he is the saviour of national and sole in charge of deciding the fate of Internet users of Pakistan. To our dismay, we fail to understand that why the apex courts are giving this dubious person so much serious attention.
In his recent attempt on 9th July 2010, without realizing that how he is becoming a tool to curb citizen’s rights in Pakistan, he filed another application. Some of the poisonous contents are reproduced that how one person can rattle the whole development agenda of a country.
1. Directions may very kindly be given to the 8th Respondent (Punjab Police) for de-sealing of the FIR, supply of the copy of the FIR to the petitioner and direction for initiation of fair investigation of the case including arrest of the nominated accused and others who are abettor, via Interpol.
2. The government of Pakistan to approach United Nations for implementations of Article 20(2) of the UN Covenant on Civil Political Rights, whereby by-law any advocacy, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited.
3. The preventive action is to announce blocking YouTube, MSN, Wikipedia, and Facebook and others for an initial period of 1 year and let those companies know that blockade will be in place until they take following steps.
· Submit Un-Conditional apology to Muslim Ummah and Pakistan
· Make a Tribute to Muhammad (S.A.W.W) page on their home pages.
· Pass on details of all offenders to enable Pakistani investigation authorities to arrest the offenders via Interpol.
4. The blockade according to me will cause them loss in millions of Dollars, and I can assure you after first few months of blockade they will knee down to our legitimate demands (according to the petitioner Azhar Siddique)
5. It is further requested that directions may very kindly be given to 1st and 4th Respondent to apply the application of Chinese Tweaked Firewall to block the websites having objectionable, offensive, insulting, nasty, disgusting, odious, hateful, abusive, obnoxious, sadistic, blasphemous material by taking help from Republic of China.
Shall we remain only the audience in this whole drama? No, we are actual victims, who only want to stand as a proud nation on the face of earth and in between developing Nations. Unfortunately, it is our politicians and ruling elites, who for their mere gains continue to push us back whenever we try to stand and raise above all odds.
We don’t find any difference in dictatorship and the so called shame democracy that we have currently. Now it is up to all of us whether we allow people like Azhar Siddique to decide the fate of our Fundamental Rights or we are the ones who really need to take things in our own hands.