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Pakistan wants Facebook, Twitter to help it combat blasphemy

Pakistani students of Islamic seminaries take part in a rally in support of blasphemy laws, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Hundreds of students rallied in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, urging government to remove blasphemous content from social media and take stern action against those who posted blasphemous content on social media. The placard, center, in Urdu reads, "Authorized Institutions immediately take action on the incidents of blasphemy and remove blasphemous content on social media." (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan says it has asked Facebook and Twitter to help it identify Pakistanis suspected of blasphemy so that it can prosecute them or pursue their extradition.

Under Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws, anyone found to have insulted Islam or the Prophet Muhammad can be sentenced to death.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said Thursday that an official in Pakistan's Washington embassy has approached the two social media companies in an effort to identify Pakistanis, either within the country or abroad, who recently shared material deemed offensive to Islam.

He says Pakistani authorities have identified 11 people for questioning over alleged blasphemy and would seek the extradition of anyone living abroad.

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