Present resolution in the UN on Prophet`s cartoons: Pak Judge

A Pakistani judge who recently directed authorities to block Facebook has ordered the country`s envoy to present a resolution conveying the "hurt and discomfort" of the people over the publication of blasphemous caricatures.

Updated: Jun 03, 2010, 16:51 PM IST

Lahore: A Pakistani judge who recently
directed authorities to block Facebook has ordered the
country`s envoy to the UN to present a resolution conveying
the "hurt and discomfort" of the people over the publication
of blasphemous caricatures on the social networking website.

Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry of the Lahore High Court
issued the order in a detailed order regarding his decision to
end the blocking of Facebook till June 15.

The judge had on May 31 directed authorities to allow
access to Facebook, nearly two weeks after he had ordered the
blocking of the website.

In his detailed order, the judge said the resolution
should be presented in the UN`s General Assembly to protect
the deeply sensitive and emotional values of a majority of the
population of Pakistan.

"The foreign ministry is directed to direct its
Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations at its headquarters
in New York to present a resolution in the context (of) the UN
Resolution on Combating Defamation of Religions, conveying the
discomfort of the Pakistani people," the order said.

The judge further asked the foreign ministry to
comply with the court`s directions "in letter and spirit" by
June 15, the next date for the hearing of the matter.

The foreign ministry should also submit a written and
official copy of the direction sent to Pakistan`s Permanent
Representative to the UN regarding the presentation of the
resolution, the judge said.

In case of non-compliance with the court`s order,
the Foreign Minister will have to appear in court to explain
his position, Justice Chaudhry said.

The UN resolution on Combating Defamation of
Religions came into force in November 2007 and was made part
of international laws, the court`s order said.

"The canons of Islam do not prohibit or limit any
individual’s right to freedom of expression and speech.

Rather it emulates the phrase, Your liberty ends
where the nose of the other persons starts, meaning thereby
that any right to freedom of expression and speech of one
person would not prejudice the right of self-respect and
dignity of the other person," the judge said in his order.

"The core issue involved in the instant matter was
the publication of blasphemous material which was viewed as a
deliberate attempt to malign the very holy and sanctimonious
stature of Prophet (Mohammed) and any regulation made for the
protection of the deeply sensitive and emotional sentiments
should not be viewed as (being) in conflict with an
individual’s universally accepted rights of freedom,
expressions and speech," the order said.

Acting on a petition filed by a group of lawyers,
Justice Chaudhry directed authorities last month to block
Facebook over a page hosting blasphemous caricatures.

Though the judge ended the ban, he has said he will
review his decision at the next hearing on June 15.

Pakistani authorities have so far blocked about 1,200
links over blasphemous and sacrilegious contents.

PTI