Government blocks 13,000 obscene websites: Official

Published: February 9, 2012

The Parliamentary secretary says the government has blocked 13,000 obscene websites in the country.

ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Secretary for Information Technology, Nawab Liaqat Ali Khan informed the National Assembly on Thursday that the government had blocked 13,000 obscene websites on the internet.

Recently, the judiciary and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) took action against porn websites by blocking or banning access to them in the country, following multiple petitions filed by the citizenry.

“It is a serious issue and we are trying to address it,” said the IT parliamentary secretary, while replying to a Calling Attention Notice, adding that the government was mindful of the situation.

Hence when asked about what steps were being taken to block such websites, Khan said that these websites were operating from outside and so action could not be taken against them nor could they be penalized.

However he maintained that the government is utilising all available resources to counter this challenge.

Khan also proposed the formation of a Ministerial Committee and a sub-committee to look into the matter. Expressing concern over the rapid increase in obscene websites, he said, “At present the government has no mechanism to block all of these websites and are trying to devise a mechanism, however, we take action on complaints.”

He quoted the example of China and India who have installed a costly Automated Filtration System, which could also block anti-government websites, but clarified that that this system, if installed, would still be unable to block all such websites.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Feb 9, 2012 - 10:25PM

    A good decision made by the government.

    The most affected people from obscene websites were underage people who used computers without the knowledge of their parents.

    I would request that parents should keep an eye on their children so that they should not get involved in unhealthy activities.

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  • Cautious
    Feb 9, 2012 - 10:26PM

    Do you feel safer and closer to heaven now? Is BBC still banned?

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  • Uzair
    Feb 9, 2012 - 10:38PM

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: A ban on porn websites will only lead to greater sexual frustration in the young male population and greater sexual harassment of women (which is already at obscene levels).

    But of course, in our great land clear thinking and common sense are sacrificed at the altar of “piety” – the results of which piety are plain to see in ALL sphere of Pakistani life.

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  • Alami Musafir
    Feb 9, 2012 - 11:43PM

    Uzair makes a very valid point. And I would add that removing this outlet to frustration would also increase sexual exploitation of street children, one of the most vulnerable and powerless parts of our society. If the ban on porn websites is to protect children then it could backfire for this reason. The only sensible course is to legalise prostitution, to simultaneously ramp up penalties for sex with minors, and ensure that sex workers have proper health care, guaranteed minimum fees and are safe from predatory overseers.

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  • Ali
    Feb 9, 2012 - 11:50PM

    A good step. Now liberals would criticize the govt badly!!!

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  • faraz
    Feb 10, 2012 - 12:47AM

    How about banning some jihadi websites that contain hate material and death fatwas

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  • Mj
    Feb 10, 2012 - 2:11AM

    What they don’t tell you it that they have also started banning pages which are not even porn. Try opening the wikipedia page of Mahmoud Ghaznavi, Ali Dashti, Fatima, and many, many others and you will find that they have been blocked. Have we also forgotten how Rolling Stones was blocked for an article exposing military excesses? This is censorship and information control, pure and simple, in the guise of banning porn. Pakistanis need to come forward against state sponsored censorship NOW, or else they would be brought to the level of people under oppressive gulf states and China.

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  • Haibat
    Feb 10, 2012 - 4:30AM

    Seriously…. Its the internet , they are fools to think they can actually block these sites. Proxies ftw!!

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  • Rehan
    Feb 10, 2012 - 4:54AM

    Here comes the porn addicts crying…. “give me my porn or else … i will harrass girls on the street…”.

    How ignorant. Porn does not relieve anything. Instead it frustrates and destroys one’s moral character. People who watch porn are more likely to go out and inact their learned behaviour on poor victims. It is highly toxic and allowing it is akin to drink poison or drugs. So please do not make the stupid point of porn solving any social problems. its pathetic. http://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/love-sex/sex/sex-addiction-linked-to-internet-porn-1.1228654

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  • Bilal
    Feb 10, 2012 - 7:06AM

    What next? Ministry of Obscene Affairs?

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  • SaQiB
    Feb 10, 2012 - 9:46AM

    Thats good!! thats really good……… finally an appreciable step

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  • UMAIR
    Feb 10, 2012 - 10:13AM

    Very good step indeed, government should also provide opportunities to youth for keeping them close to their religions. There is no doubt, that association with religion i.e. Islam, Christanity, Hinduism etc etc is cure for such frustrations.

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  • Feb 10, 2012 - 10:20AM

    Excellent. Just a couple of million more to go.

    Don’t worry, you’re almost there.

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  • m9naeem
    Feb 10, 2012 - 10:22AM

    Really a great positive step. As it was shameful for an Islamic country like Pakistan to rank No.1 in the world to watch pornography on internet. Pornography is nothing but only mental criminality to do inhuman sex acts.

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  • Bilal Akhtar
    Feb 10, 2012 - 10:36AM

    Blocked or unblocked doesnot make any difference bcoz everyone can access those websites very conviniently through a hundred different ways

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  • JS
    Feb 10, 2012 - 10:53AM

    forget about electricity, education, food, water, gas, regional tensions, ethnic tensions, womens rights, minorities rights, poverty, economic meltdown, and corruption. It is surely more important to waste time and money on this kind of mission….

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  • CL
    Feb 10, 2012 - 10:54AM

    Coming up next: Ministry of Censorship. It’s an Orwellian nightmare! -_-

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  • Zahid
    Feb 10, 2012 - 11:17AM

    When India and China can do it, why can’t Pakistan. Don’t make a news out of it. Pakistan deserves to protect its young falling to western obscene culture. We have our own culture. Let’s stick to it. Liberal fascists will, however, make a strong noise over it.

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  • SA
    Feb 10, 2012 - 12:48PM

    @Rehan:
    Thanks for the link, I hope this convinces the so-called “liberals” who’re upset over the ban!!

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  • jahan noor khan
    Feb 10, 2012 - 12:50PM

    please don’t open such porn websites………*

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  • wahab
    Feb 10, 2012 - 1:35PM

    Isnt it my democratic right to watch whatever i want online? Where is freedom of expression n speech?

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  • Mj
    Feb 10, 2012 - 1:59PM

    @Rehan:
    Are you kidding me? Try bringing up that article to back up your argument among educated people and you surely would be laughed at. The whole article revolves around unlearned opinions of a JC Durbin. May I ask what his qualifications are, has he published his scientific study in a reputable peer-reviewed journal?. There is a crystal clear conflict of interest a Mr. Durbin happens to be an owner of an addiction clinic. Try not to just jump to conclusions after reading just the headline.

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  • nice
    Feb 10, 2012 - 2:26PM

    However he maintained that the government is utilising all available resources to counter this challenge.

    nice, nice, very nice to see that the government is doing a GREAT job…now once the great Fruitless War on the Internet is over, maybe some of the “available resources” can be directed to education. Maybe? No?

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  • Jojo
    Feb 10, 2012 - 2:28PM

    Sirs, who think pornography is a way to fill in sexual frustration should know that its not. In fact in a society like Pakistan it has only led to more frustration due lack of tangible available opportunities.

    A step in the right direction, porn today is to easy find, make it a bit more challenging for kids and keep the buzz intact.

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  • naeem hussain
    Feb 10, 2012 - 2:49PM

    Thank you very much for talking one step into right direction.

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  • Akhtar Nawaz
    Feb 10, 2012 - 3:07PM

    @Uzair and @Alami:

    Dear Sirs, I respectfully disagree. Having no porn to watch is NOT a justification for sexually harassing women. Period.

    Also, going by your argument Sirs, I would suppose our forefathers were sexual predators because there was no internet porn back then? :S

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  • Khalid Rahim
    Feb 10, 2012 - 5:02PM

    Thank you Mr Orwell fot placing us on the ANIMAL FARM in the year 1984.

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  • Alami Musafir
    Feb 10, 2012 - 7:45PM

    @ Akhtar
    Let us put the matter to the test. Let us conduct regular scientific surveys which quantify and catalogue sex crimes, especially against children, nationwide. And if these increase as a result of the shutting off of porn websites and like measures, then the authorities who put these measures in place, and are consequently responsible for the increases in such crimes should be proportionately punished, with prison sentences and such like. Conversely, if such crimes go down, they should be rewarded with cash and such like. Fair enough ?

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  • HINA
    Mar 3, 2012 - 11:19PM

    No doubt it’s a good step , but protecting the youth from pornography and wat about all the liqour shops opened in many areas??? This govt really needs to wake up !!!

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