Web Desk — Pakistan’s government has sent millions of text messages warning citizens against the sharing of blasphemous content online. The move comes as authorities bid to combat a major uptick in religious violence as mob rule decides if ‘blasphemers’ live or die.
— RT (@RT_com) May 10, 2017
As per RT report, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) asked members of the public to report any objectionable content to authorities.
The telecom regulator told AFP that it was acting on a court order. It’s feared, however, that the government message will embolden the actions of violent mobs.
“This mass messaging will only further fuel hatred among different sects and segments of the society. It is a very very bad move,” digital rights activist Shahzad Ahmad told AFP.
Earlier this month a 10-year old boy was shot dead in Balochistan province, Pakistan when a mob attacked a police station while attempting to lynch a Hindu man charged with blasphemy. Five others were also injured in the violence.
TV anchor Moeed Pirzada has condemned the government’s mass messaging, saying it would lead to an increase in religiously motivated violence which has plagued Pakistan for years.
PTA sending mass texting to warn on “blasphemous content” will heighten public consciousness & will increase risks of religious violence
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) May 9, 2017
“PTA’s mass texting on ‘blasphemy’ smacks of insincerity & political exploitation of religion; it will embolden public to greater violence,” Pirzada added in another tweet.