Pakistan's Minister of Interior, Rehman Malik, recently announced a 14 year prison sentence for anyone found propagating SMS and emails ridiculing or making fun of the present Pakistani leadership and its elected government officials.
The statement issued by the Ministry of Interior actually referenced the Cyber Crime Act of 2009 which apparently may subject the violators to at least 14 years behind bars.
Since the start of this newly elected government, the local leadership, namely the President of Pakistan Asif Zardari and Minister of Interior Rehman Malik have been at the receiving end of some very hard hitting gutt wrenching jokes, which in turn a
propagated across SMS's and emails like wildfire not only in Pakistan but also across the world.
Seeing their local leadership at the base of many hard hitting jokes, the government decided to take such critical offenders to task. Here lies a very important problem, it is surprising to note that the Cyber Crime Act does even not exist, the Pakistan
Electronic Crimes Ordinance of 2007 ironically had no mention of any crime related to SMS's let alone sending and even categorizing humorous SMS's which may tarnish the image of the an unspecified local leadership, the maximum prison sentence in that
bill was set at a maximum of 7-years [10-years if it involved a minor].
The statements made by Ministry of Interior were challenged, and the only official response that has been received till now that the correct draft has not yet been released to the public. It only seems that the politically motivated statement was
more or less geared towards scaring the general public into submission and hopefully stopping political rivals from ridiculing them.