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Pakistan Lifts Blasphemy Ban on Facebook

The Telecommunications Authority of Pakistan yesterday lifted its ban on Facebook.

The social networking website had been blocked in the country since 19 May over accusations of blasphemy, after caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed were posted on on a Facebook page entitled 'Draw Mohammed Day'.

Ijaz Chaudhry, Justice of Lahore High Court (LHC) has halted proceedings brought to impose a ban on the social network, but left the case open.

Justice Chaudhry asked Pakistan's Deputy Attorney, General Naveed Inayat Malik, to keep a check on similar activities on Facebook and other web sites, and report when the case reopened in 15 June.

US authorities agreed with Pakistan's allegation that making fun at the expense of another's religious sentiments is a "crime", and have assured Pakistani officials that nothing like this would happen again.

The members of the Islamic Lawyers movement, which filed the petition against Facebook, have expressed discontent over the LHC's decision.

Currently more than 1,200 sites are blocked in Pakistan because their content is regarded as blasphemous.