The current Pakistani government confounds and confuses, frustrates and disappoints, and promises and fails, in an endless loop of incompetency and ignorance. The government though, has never failed to amuse.
Policies and laws, and their implementation or lack thereof, has made this land of the pure the laughing stock of the modern world. The phrase 'comedy of errors' was coined once the first government of Pakistan took office (not a fact, but seems extremely plausible!).
The latest in their long line of faux pas is an initiative from Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), trying to ban certain 'immoral' words from being transmitted. The words cover everything from sexual references, to cuss words, and some random ones, like 'idiot', and 'OICU812', which might be sexual references that I couldn't understand. (See: http://www.netlingo.com/word/oicu812.php)
Then there are 'un-Islamic' words like 'damn', 'devil', and 'Jesus Christ'. That is just bordering on the insane. How many of us, as Pakistanis, have come across, and befriended Pakistani Christians? And how would JC in any shape or form be un-Islamic, or immoral???
Sit back and think or a second... the word 'devil' might be used in religious texts and their translations, and they might get blocked as well!!!
And does PTA really think that the intelligent public of Pakistan could not, and would not, come up with substitutes for these words. As comprehensive as the list might seem, even I can work around it, to get my point across, in equally lewd terms! (Not something to be proud of!!!)
Here is the most important question of all though: who the heck came up with this list? I can see people (males, probably repressed perverts) sitting around a table, and trying to one-up each other on who could come up with the best (or worst, depending on your point of view) words for the list. All fun and games!
Chairman of the Sindh Assembly's Standing Committee on Minorities Affairs, Saleem Khurshid Khokhar, has raised concerns about 'Jesus Christ'... Commendable! But should that voice not have been raised against the complete list??? Is that not what 'freedom of speech' is? Or is that reserved for our beloved Geos and ARYs only?
More than a 'freedom of speech' issue, this is an 'invasion of privacy' of sorts. Why does Pakistan even have a Ministry of Information and Broadcasting? They do not decide how people are educated (that is done by the Board of Education). And they are certainly not the spokespersons of the Presidency. The 'information' and its distribution should be handled by the Board of Education, and a government spokesperson, and the 'broadcasting' should be PTA's responsibility (much like the FCC in the United States, where all radio frequencies are allotted and regulated by the FCC, whether they be for radio stations, telecom carriers, or military communications). The ministry's sole purpose is to censor, and create propaganda. The Information Minister of Pakistan deciding on what you can share with your friends, with or without benefits, is the worst form of censorship possible.
The banning of websites such as Facebook and Youtube, under blasphemy pretenses, and texts that had political satire, under the umbrella of spam, went comparatively unnoticed, even if they were not well received. This is pushing the envelope. The people of Pakistan should stand up for what their birth right is. Heck if the online Aalim (Aamir Liaquat Hussain) can cuss and sing un-Islamically at the set of a religious program, it should be OK for a sinner like me to do it.
And just to piss PTA off, I am going to say that they are SHITOUTOFLUCK, and are so effing STUPID, that they have included the word MASTURBATE twice without spelling it right either time! (by the way, 'effing' is one of the words that bypasses the ban, and conveys the message just as effectively as the original F-word).
Here is the complete list of the banned words, which has been circulated around the web so often that it has made some the obscure words part of regular Pakistani lingo:
PS Good thing Pakistan Telecommunication Authority does not regulate the blogosphere... yet!
PSS They are funny though... 'Pubic Lice' is one of the banned words on the list. I couldn't have come up with that!