ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has ordered the immediate blocking of video sharing site YouTube in Pakistan, Express News reported on Monday.
He said blasphemous content cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.
The decision to block the website was taken after YouTube denied to remove the anti-Islam film.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s office read: “The direction has been given after YouTube refused to heed to the advice of the government of Pakistan to remove blasphemous film from its site.”
The statement added that services of YouTube would remain suspended till removal of blasphemous material from the site.
Following the suspension, Pakistan joined Afghanistan and Bangladesh in countries who had banned the site after the video sharing site refused to comply to requests.
However, YouTube, which maintains that the film does not violate any of their community guidelines, had restricted access to the film in Egypt, Libya, India and Indonesia last week.
Earlier, the Interior, Religious and Information Technology Ministry have recommended a complete ban on YouTube.
The ministries also recommended that the summary by an inter-ministrial committee on the matter should also be forwarded to the prime minister.
Earlier during the day, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), following the Supreme Court’s orders, blocked 753 links leading to the anti-Islam film on YouTube. The director general of PTA said that almost 100 new clips of the anti-Islam film are proliferated on YouTube every day.
The recently film on YouTube has sparked violent anti-US protests across the Muslim world.
Google staff may be expelled
Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Monday while pointing towards the fact that authorities had blocked thousands of anti-Islam links on the internet across the country, he warned that failure by Google to take decisive action may result in expulsion of staff.
Malik warned Google administration to remove the anti-Islam material, otherwise visas of Google officials in Pakistan would be cancelled.
He said in a high level meeting, the chairman of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had been directed to block all anti Islam materials.
On his claim last week of contacting Interpol over blasphemous content, Malik followed up saying that he has written a “letter to the UN and asked for taking serious notice of the issue which is hurting interfaith harmony.”
He said he had also written a letter to Interpol head, demanding an action against those elements who were out to defame Islam which promote peace and harmony.