OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE Justice Malik Shahzad of the Lahore High Court on Friday sought reply within four weeks from federal government and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to a petition which has prayed for putting a permanent ban on visiting obscene material on Internet websites. The court passed the said order on a petition filed by a local citizen Sohaib Ahmad praying to the for passing direction to the PTA authorities and the ministry concerned to take steps for control on circulation of porno literature and material on Internet sites. The counsel for the petitioner, Fahad Ahmad Siddiqui, submitted that popularisation of Internet by the federal government was a welcome step as it gave easy access to information. However, he said that for the youth the path was full of dangers, as they had to browse through junk e-mails that lured them towards websites containing obscene material. It was very difficult to contain the rain of smut on the Internet and protect children from it, the petitioner said. Siddiqui said that being an Islamic state, the constitution of Pakistan laid down the principle providing for the government to take steps to enable Muslims to live their life in accordance with the fundamental principles and basic concepts of Islam. He stated that it was undertaken in the constitution that the state shall take necessary steps for social justice, eradication of social evils and shall prevent prostitution, gambling, use of injurious drugs, printing, publication, circulation and display of obscene literature and advertisements. He stated that fearing pornographic surfing by children, employees, parents and businessmen had urged the government to introduce filtering devices on the Internet that deny access to such pornographic sites. Siddiqui said that despite repeated caution notes raised by the media in general and the parents in particular, the respondents paid no heed to the issue. He said that allowing such kind of material on the Internet inflicted the worst damage on children, a crime justifying sex myths and actual sexual abuse, and generating many evils. He requested the court that directions be issued to the Ministry of Telecommunications to place a permanent ban on the circulation and display of obscene literature and advertisements on Internet, urging that they should be permanently blocked or banned in Pakistan for displaying pornographic material.