YouTube ban: PHC summons PTA officials, experts on July 16

Published: June 28, 2013
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The court directed PTA officials to submit their reply within 20 days. PHOTO: FILE

The court directed PTA officials to submit their reply within 20 days. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has summoned Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) officials and technical experts over the ban on YouTube.

The officials have been summoned on July 16 by a PHC division bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Asadullah Khan Chamkani. The bench was hearing a petition seeking to reopen YouTube following its ban last year.

The court was informed despite YouTube being banned for carrying blasphemous content, the website is also used for research and academic purposes.

Mian Muhibullah Kakakhel told the bench students are facing immense problems while searching for content related to their studies and requested the court to direct authorities to filter the blasphemous material and reopen YouTube.

The court directed PTA officials to submit their reply within 20 days. At the same time, technical experts were also summoned to appraise the court as to whether unwanted material could, in fact, be filtered. The bench maintained if PTA lacked experts, there was no reason why experts from other countries could not be tasked with blocking blasphemous content before it reached the general public.

The popular video-sharing website was blocked in September 2012 by former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf after an uploaded trailer of a blasphemous film titled ‘Innocence of Muslims’ sparked outrage and violence across the Muslim world. The ban remained in effect after Google refused Islamabad’s request to take down the video.

Meanwhile, the court also accepted advocate Essa Khan’s petition filed against the newly-inducted policy for obtaining domiciles, and sought a reply from the provincial government in this regard by July 4.

Essa, the petitioner, contended the form’s price had increased from Rs10 to Rs30. He added the forms, which were earlier available at stationary stalls, could only be collected from the deputy commissioner’s (DC) office according to the new policy.

He said people had to wait in long queues outside the DC’s office. The policy also directs the forms be signed by patwaris, who have low credibility, and getting the forms signed by tehsildars has become another issue, Essa had claimed.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • mashal
    Jun 28, 2013 - 11:21AM

    Really its a huge problem for the student as they searching about their related subject video which is too beneficial in the ground of education we hope that it will open soon .
    and thanks to Dost muhammad khan who take the action on this issue .

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  • Le Cheater
    Jun 28, 2013 - 11:22AM

    seems like ppl r unaware of proxy sites… there is a loophole for everything :) :p

    Recommend

  • AK
    Jun 28, 2013 - 12:02PM

    Innocent people and Innocent courts and government. God bless them.

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  • Yousaf Hyat
    Jun 28, 2013 - 1:19PM

    I bought a Samsung galaxy Tab 2 and cannot use it because all instructional videos are on YOU TUBE … A truly Democratic government shall never with hold knowledge from the people .

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  • Khizer Jalal
    Jun 28, 2013 - 1:29PM

    A problem for Students as well as professionals. I dont get it. Even if its used for entertainment purpose whats so bad about it! :/ ehh..

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  • Ghazanfar
    Jun 28, 2013 - 1:54PM

    I don’t quite undertsand how the leaders of Pakistan expect to help their people by blocking youtube which is a valuable source of information to students (Such as medical students for anatomy and surgery videos, engineering students, etc, etc, etc,). Now Pakistani students are at a disadvantage coupled with loadshedding, lawlessness, gas and water shortage to deal with. Ridiculous!

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  • RQ
    Jun 28, 2013 - 6:15PM

    @Le Cheater: FYI proxies and vpns are not fastest way to stream

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  • Freedom
    Jun 28, 2013 - 7:58PM

    Now Pakistani students are at a disadvantage coupled with loadshedding, lawlessness, gas and water shortage to deal with. Ridiculous!

    And no porn to blow off steam when all this becomes too much. The height of tyranny.

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  • Haris
    Jul 3, 2013 - 10:13AM

    @LE Cheater… Proxies make your connection 100 times slower, and they have other issues. so get your facts straight before just blasting your lame suggestions.

    Why cant PTA get a work around to filter the blasphemeus content only. I mean block only those links that are objectionable. There must be a workaround. We can also request google to do such arangement for Pak.

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