Stories about ban

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

When I was at university, the one person I would have difficulty saying ‘hi’ to on campus was a junior who kept her face hidden by a thick black veil. As is the case with cursory greetings in the passing, so much is gauged with facial expressions that I could never make out her response. Then, in my last year, a close friend made the decision to start wearing the niqab and subsequently almost completely dropped off the social radar. I felt her decision was extreme and unnecessary and I felt a lot of hostility towards the piece of ...

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Ban Tom & Jerry

Recently the Punjab government formed a committee to see whether cartoons based on Hindu mythology should be banned or not. The reasons given were that the children of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan might come under the influence of such animations and deviate from Islam. I am not going to get into how that is clearly ridiculous or how it is not in line with Jinnah’s vision as many have already addressed those issues. However, I would add that in case the Punjab government does decide to ban these cartoons, there are a few other things on TV that it ...

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Bye-bye BlackBerry

There are reports that the BlackBerry maker, Research in Motion (RIM), has come to an agreement in Saudi Arabia and the government will now have access to RIM’s communication service for BlackBerry Messenger. However, as of yet, RIM in the UAE has not agreed to give the government access, meaning that the plan to suspend BlackBerry services starting October may continue. The debate between governments and RIM is not new and the Indian government raised security concerns about messages shared via the BlackBerry in 2008, when they suspected militants used the phone to plan the 2008 Mumbai attacks where 166 ...

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The recent dynamics of Pakistan cricket

It is nothing less than a cricket lover’s dream to watch the Pakistan cricket team when on song. From the sublime Imran Khan to the charismatic Shahid Afridi, Pakistan has constantly churned out cricketers who are not only among the best in the world, but are also among the most loved. It is so easy to get carried away with the talent that Pakistan constantly throws at the world scene, that we forget to dig deep into the reasons for the constant failure of this team to live up to its potential.  Pakistan has been trying to rebuild for the ...

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A ban on common sense

On Monday, the government of China passed a law forbidding online dating for its soldiers. The logic behind the measure was that lonely hearts might let sensitive information slip to conniving spies posing as love interests. In the words of a Chinese military official, “People with ulterior motives may make use of the soldiers’ personal information and pose a threat to the safety of the army.” So essentially the Chinese military is assuming that an online date will involve questions like: “So what are your likes and dislikes?…What do you like to eat? …What can you tell me about the ...

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PTA plans to push Pakistan to 1984

A leaked confidential draft of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) allegedly delivered to the Lahore High Court (LHC) has suggested the implementation of a new draconian system which would greatly curtail internet freedom in the country, not unlike Big Brother from George Orwell’s ‘1984’. Needless to say, the document obtained by APCmember Bytes for All has begun to make rounds online, leaving many (including this writer) extremely worried about the possibilities of such a system being actualised. Pertinent points from the PTA draft suggestions follow: 1. The draft states that blasphemous content found online has created dismay and discomfort among the government and ...

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Banning websites: reign of the Iron Curtain

When the decision to ban Facebook was revoked by the high court, I felt relieved like most of us that finally reason had reigned supreme over religious sentimentalism. However, little did I know that this was a brief respite because yet another petition filed in the Lahore High Court may completely negate it. Banning a score of sites, including Hotmail, Yahoo, Google, Bing, YouTube and Amazon, the moral axe has yet again grinded on the pretext of blasphemous content. Without a doubt, such a ban is bound to impact millions of users across the country, positively inhibiting their online ...

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Banning Dr Zakir Naik

The Express Tribune website recently ran an online poll with the question: “Should an individual be banned from a country for making controversial statements?” To which 55 per cent of voters responded yes, while 45 per cent responded no. The result of this poll was quite interesting in itself, as was the issue which drove the question. Background The poll was created as a follow-up to the story Britain bans Dr Zakir Naik, which has seen a huge influx of traffic – attaining 92 comments and 316 Facebook ‘likes’ in just two days. Needless to say, the issue was an important one for Tribune ...

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