KARACHI: Micro-blogging website Twitter has been restored in Pakistan on Sunday night, after an almost day long ban.
Sources have confirmed that Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik has spoken to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who ordered concerned authorities to unblock the site.
Micro-blogging website Twitter had been temporarily banned across Pakistan on Sunday by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
Express News correspondent Suhail Chaudhry had reported that the access to Twitter was blocked due to an ongoing “competition” of Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) caricatures.
This move was made, keeping in mind the “emotions of the masses” reported Chaudhry.
Earlier, PTA Chairman Dr Mohammad Yaseen said the regulator was asked by the Ministry of Information and Technology to block the website in the country.
“We just passed on the directives to the Internet Service Providers (ISPs),” he told The Express Tribune. “I can’t say for how long the website will remain blocked.”
Pakistan’s government had asked Twitter to stop a discussion on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), which was considered derogatory, Yaseen said, adding that “Twitter refused our request.”
Government and the website officials were in negotiations.
The PTA had blocked access to Twitter directly from the upstream links without notifying the ISPs, according to Wahajuz Siraj, convener for Internet Services Providers Association of Pakistan (ISPAK).
Express News had reported that the Ministry of Information and Technology tried getting through to authorities on Twitter throughout the night and that about five faxes were sent to the micro-blogging website.
Eventually, in reply to PTA’s e-mail, Twitter authorities replied saying that they “cannot stop any individual doing anything of this nature on the website”.
Google Pakistan Country Consultant Badar Khushnood had confirmed the blockage on his Twitter account.
One ISP, on condition of anonymity had advised callers registering complaints to use Vtunnel and proxies as an alternate to access Twitter.
While the micro-blogging website was blocked, it was accessible by means of mobile phones and secure browsers such as Opera Mini.