Taking a grim view of the anti-Islam rhetoric that has increased on the Internet and is circulating via SMSs in the wake of the assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Thursday ordered that all such websites be blocked within 24 hours.  

The Interior Secretary has also been told to file cases against Pakistan-based persons indulging in propagating the “anti-Islam agenda”. Also, a committee will be set up with representation from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and Federal Investigation Agency to monitor anti-Islam propaganda. 

In zeroing in on such propaganda, Mr. Rehman has also appealed to the youth to report websites posting material against Islam and Pakistan. Following Taseer's assassination on January 4, the Internet has seen feverish activity on issues thrown up by his murder including several Facebook pages in support of his assassin.  

Meanwhile, federal Minorities Minister Shabhaz Bhatti was quoted by AFP as stating that fatwas calling for his murder had increased over the past week. Mr. Bhatti had voiced his personal support for the amendments being proposed in the blasphemy laws before the federal government said the law would remain untouched. 

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