All political parties voice together to lift YouTube ban in Pakistan

YouTube in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The National Assembly of Pakistan has finally adopted an undisputed resolution to restore the world’s largest video sharing web portal YouTube after almost one year and seven months.

The resolution was put forward by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)’s Shazia Mari on Monday which was not opposed by any party.

However, the member of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Saira Afzal Tarar proposed that a committee must be formed to decide whether the ban should be lifted or not. Upon this, Mari opposed the notion and demanded an immediate action by the government as YouTube ban was affecting students and business community equally.

The government had blocked the video-sharing website YouTube in Pakistan on September 17, 2012, following a controversial film.

The PML-N led federal government had been delaying the matter citing that it was not possible to remove all the content considered ‘objectionable’ from the internet or YouTube.

No date has been given as to when the ban would be removed as yet.

The Human Rights Committee of the parliament’s upper house had unanimously approved a resolution to lift ban from YouTube as there was no ‘benefit’ of the ‘so-called’ ban.

The Senates committee stated that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)’s chairman was also informed earlier that this bogus ban has no advantage as unwanted videos are readily available on other websites as well.

The Senate’s committee vowed to raise the issue of YouTube ban in the upper house this day.

Earlier in April, the lawmakers of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) opposed the resolution of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in which Shazia Marri asked officials to lift the ban from YouTube.

The federal information minister Pervez Rahseed announced earlier in March that long standing ban on YouTube will soon be lifted in Pakistan as IT officials have developed a software to scan the controversial data on world’s largest video sharing portal.

However, later country’s top IT officials and telecommunication authority ‘PTA’ gave in for doing the job citing difficulties impossible to overcome by any filtering software.

Despite a large population of the country who believe in banning all blasphemous websites, a pressure group does exist who believe in freedom to access information.

Earlier, on March 21, one standing committee in Senate recommended to lift ban from YouTube. Same day, a petition was filed with Sindh High Court seeking to lift the ban from famous video sharing website.

YouTube has been blocked since September 2012. Currently there are 5 petitions challenging the government’s decision in three High Courts.

About the author

Hissan Khan

Hissan Khan is currently working as the Editorial Head of Pakistan Tribe's Islamabad Office. Having work as current affairs host, news analyst and C4D expert, Hissan holds a good command over communication and development strategies.

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