ISLAMABAD - Following Youtube management’s refusal to heed to the advice of the Government of Pakistan to remove blasphemous material from its site, Pakistan on Monday night blocked the website across the country. The Ministry of Information Technology implemented the orders by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and Supreme Court of Pakistan and blocked the social website.
Expressing inability to remove the video, YouTube said, “This can be a challenge because what’s OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere. This video – which is widely available on the web – is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube. However, we’ve restricted access to it in countries where it is illegal such as India and Indonesia as well as in Libya and Egypt, given the very sensitive situations in these two countries. This approach is entirely consistent with principles we first laid out in 2007.”
Earlier, the prime minister had taken cognizance of presence of blasphemous material available on the social media network and issued strict instructions to the ministry to block the services of Youtube with immediate effect.
The PTA had earlier sent a list of anti-Islamic secured links to Facebook management, which had been blocked from viewing. A number of complaints had been reported stating that clips of the blasphemous anti-Islam film were still available on the internet, especially on Youtube. The prime minister said the blasphemous material would not be tolerated and the services of Youtube would remain suspended until the removal of blasphemous material.
PTA blocks 934 links of anti-Islam movie: Meanwhile, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said 934 websites carrying blasphemous content had been blocked by Monday evening. “However, the surge of anti-Islamic video is massive, causing unrest in the country,” the statement added. The PTA urged the nation to inform the authority of any viewable links of anti-Islamic websites promptly.
Court for blocking offending material: Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court directed PTA to immediately block the offensive material against Islam and Muslims on YouTube and on any other website.
The PTA chairman was ordered to submit a report with the registrar. A three-judge bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain issued directions after conduction proceedings on a constitutional petition moved by Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed and former Jammat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed availability of obscene and other objectionable material on the Internet and media.