'Facebook ban should be lifted'
South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) demand
Lahore, May 28: The government should withdraw the ban on Facebook and several
other sites, participants at an open-house discussion organised by the
South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) demanded on Thursday.
topic of the discussion was "Condemning Blasphemy and Evaluating Ban on
Facebook". Condemning the blasphemous activity on Facebook, renowned
writer IA Rehman said hurting people's sentiments once could be
considered a mistake, but repeating it becomes a crime. However, he
said attacking the people's freedom of expression was
He said a discussion had also started at
the UN to create a more tolerant society after the publication of
blasphemous caricatures of the holy prophet (PBUH). He also highlighted
the increasing intolerance in society and stressed the need to check it.
information: SAFMA Secretary General Imtiaz Alam said freedom of
expression does not mean hurting sentiments of others. He said the West
was demonising the Muslims and a violent reaction "further proves their
point". "Banning Facebook curbed the freedom of choice of millions of
Facebook users across the country… it only shut the flood of
information available to so many Internet users," Alam added.
said the way the Lahore High Court and the Pakistan Telecommunication
Authority reacted by imposing a ban on this website and several others
warrants critical revaluation. Banning books and websites and burning
libraries is neither a positive tradition nor an appropriate response.
"The best course would have been to rely on the Muslims' senses and the
Pakistanis' freedom of choice and their right to respond to the
Addressing the occasion, Jameel Umar said the
petition filed in the LHC has many technical flaws. He said the
blasphemous page on Facebook does not pop up for every user and one has
to search for that page to access it. He said nearly 10 million people
were suffering due to the blockage of the website.
against conservatism, won by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Allama Iqbal and
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was lost during the Zia regime and the
need of the hour is to win this renewed war through tools such as
education and media," Umar added. Lawyers, human rights activists,
students and people from different media organisations attended the discussion. Daily times
"kiran,sehal and rida want facebook BACK NOWWWWWWWW..keh diya tou keh diya.. a"
Post your comments
1,200 URLs remain blocked even after YouTube ban lifted
Islamabad: Although the Pakistani authorities restored access to popular
video-sharing website YouTube, Facebook and 1,200 web pages remained
blocked on Thursday as authorities debate over the issue of blasphemous
content over the internet.
A contest organised by a user of
the social networking website, Facebook calling on people to draw
blasphemous caricatures of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) sparked a
major blacklash in Pakistan.
The Lahore High Court on ordered a
ban on Facebook on May 19 to be implemented by the Pakistan
Telecommunications Authority (PTA) till May 31. The PTA also banned
YouTube and restricted access to other websites, including Wikipedia.
YouTube, which is Google-owned, said it was working to ensure the
service was restored, although Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said
they suspected that the ban was to suppress political criticism.
on Wednesday, the PTA said YouTube – which together with Facebook
accounts for up to 25% of Internet traffic in the country – had been
opened, but with restricted access.
"YouTube has been unblocked, but the links to sacrilegious content
would remain inaccessible in Pakistan. There are around 1,200 URLs,
which have been blocked... However, only links containing objectionable
material have been blocked," PTA spokesman Khurram Mehran told AFP.
A spokesman for the Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan said about 550 pages on YouTube were still blocked.
"The total number of URLs restricted is about 1,200. Out of these, there are about 550 URLs from YouTube only," he said.
prime minister's Advisor on Information Technology, Sardar Latif Khosa
told AFP that the cabinet had agreed in principle to restrict all
blasphemous links but would support moves to restore access to Facebook
in the court next week.
LHC reconvenes: LHC is scheduled to
convene on Monday to hear a petition from Islamic lawyers while the
government will present its opinion, Khosa said.
competition was widely condemned by the entire Pakistani society but
the Internet-literate urban elite criticised the blanket ban on
websites like Facebook and YouTube.
Interior Minister Rehman
Malik said pages containing blasphemous material would remain blocked
but that access to Facebook and YouTube would be restored in the coming
Facebook expressed disappointment at being blocked and the
offending page disappeared from the social networking service on Friday.
also briefly banned YouTube in February 2008 in a similar protest
against blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet (PBUH). afp
Post your comments
YouTube ban lift gives hope to filmmaker
Islamabad: The decision to lift the ban
from the popular video-sharing website, YouTube has given renewed hope
to Pakistani filmmaker Faraz Siddiqui. Siddiqui is a finalist in the US State Department's 2010 Democracy Video Challenge'.
users across Pakistan and around the world can now view the finalists'
films and vote for the film of their choice through June 15. According
to a press release issued by the US embassy, the films, including
Siddiqui's submission, 'Democracy is the Message by People', were
posted on YouTube.
The 'Democracy Video Challenge', now in its
second year, drew nearly 700 entries this year. Contestants from 83
countries created short films on themes based upon the phrase
'Democracy is…', the blank to be filled according to the theme of each
contestant. The winning filmmakers are to receive an all-expenses-paid
trip to Washington, New York and Hollywood. Siddiqui is the first
'Democracy Video Challenge' finalist from Pakistan.
Post your comments
Rawalpindi: Educated youths have the responsibility to represent
Pakistan in today's world, as they are the custodians of the future of
this country, said Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) Vice
Chancellor (VC) Dr Saeeda Asadullah Khan on Thursday.
She was addressing the 23rd Convocation of Federal Government (FG) Postgraduate College for Women, Kashmir Road, Rawalpindi.
were awarded to students who passed out in the 2006-2008 session.
Spouse of Brig Raheel Ashraf, Federal Government Educational
Institutions (FGEI) Cant and Garrison Director, Principal Nasreen
Mirza, former Principal Shaista Zaid, faculty members, large numbers of
students and parents of passed out students attended the convocation.
VC said the youths would have to rise above the communal, societal and
political differences and co-exist in an ambience of fraternity and
"We are aware of all covert and overt
challenges to us and are taking steps to divert and diffuse them.
However, I would like to point out that our peaceful and low-key stance
needs not be construed as a weakness in our vigilance. We are cognizant
of the challenges and more than prepared to meet them," she added.
She appreciated the standard maintained by the college not only in education but also in the co-curricular activities.
the chief guest awarded degrees to the passed out students. Zile Huma,
Sadia Safdar, Anam Afzal, Urooj Jamal, Fouzia Parveen and Noureen
Akhtar were awarded medals and certificates of merits in different
disciples. Daily times
Post your comments
University student assaulted, suspect held
Rawalpindi: A student of the University of Arid Agriculture
(UAAR) was kidnapped allegedly by a male fellow who detained her for
the whole night and assaulted her, officials said on Thursday.
Police have arrested the suspects and are investigating the case.
The victim, enrolled in a BSc Honours course, left the university on
Wednesday afternoon and when she reached a bus stop near her home, she
found two boys from her university sitting in a car.
officials quoted the girl as saying that she was dragged into the
vehicle and taken to a house in a village located near the Kallar
She alleged that one of the boys sexually assaulted her through the night and escaped after locking the door from outside.
People of the area called the police when the girl raised hue and cry,
but the law enforcers were reluctant to register a case about the
However, the victim was lucky that Regional Police
Officer (RPO) Aslam Khan Tareen was on a surprise visit to the Kallar
Syedan police station on Thursday afternoon and he noticed her sitting
in a side room.
After inquiring about her ordeal, RPO Tareen
directed Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) Ahmed Hassan
Chohan to probe the matter and get the case registered without any
Taking notice of the reluctance shown earlier, the
Regional Police Officer served show-cause notices on the Kallar Syedan
station house officer and four other police officials.
Late in the evening, the Kallar Syedan police confirmed that a case had been registered and the suspect taken into custody. Dawn
Post your comments
National Literary Awards 2008 distributed
Islamabad: Encouraging the national and regional languages, literature and writers
all over the country, Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) conferred
National Literary Awards 2008 on Thursday at National Institute of
Science and Technical Education (NISTE) auditorium.
The awards were given to the writers of best books nominated for the year 2008 with a cash prize of Rs 100,000 each.
of State for Education Ghulam Farid Kathia presided over the ceremony.
PAL Chairman Fakhar Zaman presented keynote address. NISTE auditorium
was packed with writers, poets, intellectuals and linguists from the
all over the country. The award winner writers also expressed their
views on the occasion.
"In Urdu poetry, Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal
Award was given to Faisal Ajmi for his book "Samandar", in Urdu Prose
Baba-i-Urdu Molvi Abdul Haq Award to Dr Mumtaz Ahmed Khan for his book
"Urdu Novel Kay Hamageer Sarokar", in Punjabi, Syed Waris Shah Award to
Nazir Ahmed Kahut for his book "Wahga", in Sindhi, Shah Abdul Latif
Bhittai Award to Murad Ali Mirza for his book "Saami Sijja Warau", in
Pashto Khush'hall Khan Kahattak Award to Farooq Sarwar for his book
"Sagwan", in Balochi, Mast Tawakli Award to Muneer Ahmed Badeni for his
book "Shal-e-Gulain Bazar", in Seraiki, Khwaja Ghulam Farid Award to
Qasim Sayyal for his book "Pandh Pandheero Dey", in Brahvi, Taj
Muhammad Tajal Award to Maulana Abdul Khaliq Ababaki for his book "Sher
Banz", in Hindko, Saeen Ahmed Ali Award to Sultan Sakoon for his book
"Dilsothey", in English, Pitras Bukhari Award to Maniza Naqvi for her
book "A Matter of Detail" and for best translation work Muhammad Hassan
Askari Award to Parto Roheela for his book "Kuliyat-e-Maktoobat-e-Farsi
Kathia said by spreading the message of Sufis and
intellectuals the soft image of Pakistan would be highlighted at the
He said government was striving to promote
book-reading culture and writers were playing an important role in this
regard. "It is the core responsibility of government to give writers
their due status who reform the society through their pen," he said. He
expressed his confidence in the leadership of Zaman and appreciated
PAL's efforts to introduce Pakistani literature in the world.
said government was taking measure for the welfare of writers and
literati and cash prize of Rs 100,000 to each writer on the best book
nominated for the year should be doubled. "In this reign of terror, we
could only survive through our literature, that could help coping
terrorism, spreading the message of love, peace and enlightenment," he
Zaman said PAL was going to launch Sufi Tabassum
Award on the best book of children literature and publish selection of
Pakistani literature for children from 1947 to 2010 in all Pakistani
"Soon an International Sufi Council will be
established, having headquarters in Pakistan and number of branches
around the world. The council would arrange seminars and symposiums in
Pakistan and other countries to spread the message of Sufi poets and
highlight Pakistan's soft image, the PAL chief said. Daily times
Post your comments
Froebel's School honours little ones with diplomas
Rawalpindi: The preparatory grades of Froebel's School have
stepped up to the primary years' section. To celebrate this significant
moment in the lives of these juvenile brains, the school arranged an
exotic and vibrant ceremony to honour its young ones with diplomas here
The event commenced with recitation from the Holy
Qur'aan, followed by national anthem. Soon after this, the graduating
class in their stunning outfits marched in the gorgeously decorated
hall that synchronised well with the occasion. Each little scholar wore
a blue gown complete with the black cap and a broad red sash!
proud parents were amused by the sight and the auditorium echoed with a
huge round of applause. The chief guests were the parents of Anaya
Saleh, the girl who won the title of 'Student of the Year.' This award
is presented to a student who excels in all multidirectional fields
such as academics, athletics and personal character among other factors.
turn-by-turn, each homeroom teacher ascended the stage with her little
students and described her year and experience with the preparatory
class of 2009-10. Then brief introductions of the students were held,
followed by solo and group performed songs and melodies.
most interesting and captivating feature of the event was the graphical
summary of the year. The school had assembled a series of photographs
and videos, which analysed the complete year. The pictorial part was
concocted with pictures ranging from spring festivals to sport galas
and to everyday class routines.
Another appreciative feature
of the ceremony was a documentary, which depicted the progress and
participation of individual classes. Personal interviews with students
were conducted; they shared their thoughts and emotions with the
cheering and smiling audience. Some blushed with shyness while others
confidently expressed their views.
The chief guests presented
each child with a certificates and diploma and individual and group
photography followed. The parents were presented with cards and quotes
penned by their own children.
A scrumptious tea followed and
then the children excitedly went off to their homes with parents. The
school congratulated the young ones on completion of three years of
early education and wished them all the luck and happiness in their
forthcoming academic years and lives. The news
Post your comments