The democratically elected government of Pakistan, with the passage of time has developed an unusual love-hate relationship with social network websites – most notably, Facebook and Twitter.
First it was the 2010 ban of Facebook, when one of its pages featured blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad. The PTA, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority made sure it banned all of Facebook for everyone in Pakistan. The latest now, was the ban on Twitter where apparently because of ‘contentious content’, the PTA exercised its authority and shut it down.
According to the watchdog organization Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), extensive discussions were held with the micro-blogging site to censor such content, but after complete deadlock, closure of the site became inevitable.
I mean, seriously? You can literally feel your jaw dropping after going through the stance provided by PTA. If the PTA officials are still unaware, let me just remind them that Twitter on the whole is a social networking website. Made with the sole purpose and intent for promotion, interaction and engagement between people residing across geographical border, and not just that, it has provided a new dimension to the notion of freedom of expression.
The height of incompetency
Incompetency is said to be the worst form of corruption, and this is clearly exemplified from the ban imposed on Twitter. Current Information Technology Minister of Pakistan, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf is probably the worst thing that could have happened to the once booming IT sector of the country.
For many people the minister had just changed his qualification from load shedding to tweet-shedding. Some were concerned that he might do what he is best at – making deadlines with immense confidence, and little result.
Making non-issues ‘Issues’
On one hand where tweet-shedding launched an attack on the freedom of expression, at the other it also manifested a perfect way through which non-issues are actually projected and presented as real issues, worthy of discussion.
Islam teaches its followers not to pay heed to any of the things that they believe are wrong in any way. Hence, Islam emphasizes on ignoring such things. But, unfortunately the kind of Islam followed and practiced in Pakistan accentuates on amplifying these issues and very easily relate them with the conspiracies that are being hatched against Islam by Raw, CIA, Mossad and Zionist.
What they completely fail to understand is that when competitions like the caricature one are organized by one social group on a social network platform, another social group opposing their activities automatically comes into formation. The views of both these groups generate a healthy argument, a practice exercised in societies that are termed as ‘civilized or ‘developed’.
But in a place where religious clerics and their innumerable followers are looking for a chance to have a nice walk on the street, check the power of their lungs and lighten up the street by burning tires, the culture of tolerance vanishes in the darkness of despotism.