Pakistan's Facebook dilemma

By Jahanzaib Haque

As of August 2014, there are 15.4 million Pakistanis on Facebook, representing approximately 8.5 per cent of the country’s total population; a virtual city set to rival Karachi in terms of sheer numbers.

According to Jakarta Post, Facebook is Pakistan’s largest social network, and — unlike when it was banned over ‘Draw Prophet Muhammad Day’ in 2010 — few would now argue that the site is simply ‘a waste of time’ or only for the ‘elite’ in society.

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A country where liberal journalists risk death

According to BBC, the life of a liberal journalist in Pakistan is not an easy one. Write about someone fighting a blasphemy case, or someone whose faith is considered heresy, and you may very soon find yourself in deep trouble.

Shoaib Adil, a 49-year-old magazine editor and publisher in Lahore, has many well-wishers and they all want him to disappear from public life or, even better, leave the country.

Since blasphemy charges were filed against him last month, the police have told him that he can't return home, he can't even be seen in the city where he grew up and worked all his life. It wouldn't be safe.

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Pakistani Man Sentenced to Death for Blasphemy

Photo: AP

According to VOA, a court in Pakistan has sentenced a man to death on blasphemy charges.

Lawyers say a judge in the eastern city of Lahore rejected Mohammad Zulfiqar's defense of mental illness and convicted him for violating the country's blasphemy laws of insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

Zulfiqar was arrested for reportedly writing derogatory language against the Prophet on the walls of a public park in the Islampura area of Lahore in April of 2008.

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Pakistan: Islamabad High Court also orders FIR against ARY TV for blasphemy against Ahl-e-Bait

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Kasi has ordered the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) about the commission of a cognizable offence against ARY TV for blaspheming Ahl-e-Bait, turning down a decision of the subordinate court.

According to The News, the District Bar Association, Islamabad, has challenged dismissal of their application against the TV channel for blasphemy in the IHC. On Monday, CJ Anwar Kasi accepted the Bar’s application.

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India hangings: Fourth woman dies in Uttar Pradesh

According to BBC, a teenager has been found hanging from a tree in a village in northern India, the fourth woman to die in such a way in recent weeks in Uttar Pradesh state.

A post-mortem confirmed death by hanging, but did not find she was raped as the 19-year-old's family alleged.

A day earlier, another woman's body was found hanging from a tree in the state.

The gang rape and murder of two girls found in similar circumstances last month sparked outrage. Correspondents say more cases are now being reported.

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