Through the decades. Pakistan’s state and non-state actors have found a way to regulate, boycott, ban or completely outlaw technology, information, literature, media and even entire communities.
The result? The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, once imagined as a secular, democratic haven for India’s minority Muslim population, may well have become the land of “Banistan.”
Babar Sattar, a Harvard-educated lawyer, is one of “Zia’s Children” – the generation who grew up during the 1970s and 1980s when the culture of forbiddance took root through ironclad legislation passed by the country’s Islamist dictator of the time, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.
“The proclivity to ban is the continuing manifestation of expanding religion-driven morality at the expense of personal liberty,” Sattar told NBC News. “We don’t even recognize that there exists a need not to allow collective outrage or shame to pillage individual rights.”