LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has summoned the minister for Information & Technology (IT) and his secretary in connection with a petition challenging the ongoing ban on video sharing website YouTube, on August 2.
Appearing before the court on Thursday, officials from the ministry and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) claimed that they could not impose a complete ban on blasphemous material on the internet.
The court has directed officials of the ministry to devise a comprehensive complaint strategy to block access to objectionable sites over the internet.
Advocate Yasir Hamdani, counsel for petitioner Bytes for All said that the counsel for the petitioner had claimed that several technologies were available that could help block controversial content and websites on YouTube.
The petitioner had sought directions from the Ministry of IT and PTA to reopen YouTube and only block controversial content available on the website.
YouTube had been blocked across Pakistan on September 17, 2012 following orders by then Prime Minister (PM) Raja Pervez Ashraf.
The PM had imposed a ban after YouTube refused to heed to the advice of the government to remove what it felt was a blasphemous film titled The Innocence of the Muslims.
The petition was filed by an NGO ‘Bytes for All’ that has challenged the ban.
In the petition on behalf of the NGO, Hamdani stated that all internet curbs were counterproductive and deprived Pakistanis their right to access information as well as the right to counter any propaganda against the country.