A lot of Pakistanis have welcomed Pakistan's ban on Facebook saying the Muslim world has the right to ban mocking of religious symbols and beliefs. I wonder whether we are punishing the culprits by banning Facebook or punishing ourselves. Those who devise ways to trigger interfaith conflict and disharmony should be held accountable and brought to justice, I agree. But what do I make of it that our government has used the blasphemous material on Facebook as an excuse to ban YouTube and Wikipedia too. If the West wants to wash its dirty linen in public, we should have allowed it to do so. Through these cartoons, they were showing their hatred for the Muslims and also showing how civilized they are. Instead of doing what we have done, we should have kept the objectionable pages on Facebook accessible but lodged a strong protest with Facebook over the blasphemous acts and campaigned to secure a worldwide condemnation. Closing the doors of knowledge and communication has neither achieved anything in the past nor it would be in any way beneficial in future. It might cost us much more than it would cost Facebook and other networking websites. Given the peculiar pattern of politics in Pakistan, there may be some political dimensions in banning these websites. Religious parties have now got a cause to stage daily demonstrations, disrupt city traffic and, if confronted by police, start destroying public property. But would these demonstrations help the government in diverting the common man's attention from the real issues -power shortages, skyrocketing prices etc? It might only serve the government's bid to sever communication between ex-President Pervez Musharraf and his thousands of supporters who use Facebook for interaction with him. The access to unwanted sites has been restricted in other parts of the world but in a well-thought out manner. Pakistan is the only country which has made itself a laughing stock of the world with its unintelligent handling of the situation. But, then, that is a hallmark of the present government. BABAR ALI BUXI, Chiniot, May 25