Ban on YouTube: Govt decides to follow court’s ruling

Published: April 13, 2014
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Bench directs Minister Anusha Rehman Khan to meet with experts before the next hearing on May 13. DESIGN: ANUSHAY FURQAN

Bench directs Minister Anusha Rehman Khan to meet with experts before the next hearing on May 13. DESIGN: ANUSHAY FURQAN

ISLAMABAD: 

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has decided not to take any independent decision regarding lifting ban on video-sharing website YouTube.

An official in the ministry of information technology told The Express Tribune that the government would only follow the court orders.

“The government has decided to disregard both the recommendations of a parliamentary panel and the resolution moved by Pakistan Peoples Party’s MNA Shazia Mari in the National Assembly this week,” he added

A functional standing committee of Senate on Human Rights had recommended the government last month to lift ban on the service after necessary measures by Pakistan Telecommunication (PTA).

The PPP’s Shazia Mari had also moved a resolution in the lower house to initiate debate on YouTube but the speaker had not allowed her, saying that the  issue was currently pending before a  bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC).

However, Mari had argued that the court order did not restrict the government from lifting the ban.

“It is really disappointing that the government is ignoring this issue and trying to shift responsibility. YouTube is a source of knowledge for a large population of Pakistanis, particularly students and young professionals,” she added.

Meanwhile, the PPP’s Khurshid Shah, Senator Farhatullah Babar, MNA Shazia Mari along with representatives of civil society group ‘Bolo Bhi’ held a press conference to urge the government to unblock the website.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • drfaizanpervaiz
    Apr 13, 2014 - 10:02AM

    Ohh!! So since when have you been started caring about knowledge of students?? Your party has done an irrepairable lose to our education. Now let this gov do the rest!!

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  • Toba Alu
    Apr 13, 2014 - 10:35AM

    Youtube is a source of knowledge is in my view the wrong argument. There is also a lot of disinformation and nonsense on Youtube. It is about a fundamental right to have access to. Responsible people will use it with a critical mind. That is all.

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  • Salman
    Apr 13, 2014 - 10:43AM

    ForGod Sake! Enough is enough! Open youtube now.

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  • Parvez A Faruki
    Apr 13, 2014 - 11:26AM

    Pakistan and Turkey have very thick Bilateral relations. May b it is YouTube ban or Graft Scandals!

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  • U.M Sadiq
    Apr 13, 2014 - 12:49PM

    Wasn’t it PPP who banned it in the first place?

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  • Farieha
    Apr 13, 2014 - 2:58PM

    Read about the level of Ministry’s compliance with the court here: http://bolobhi.org/moit-says-will-only-comply-with-court-but-has-it/

    The education argument needs to be viewed in context. This is a response to those who say there is nothing useful on the platform; that it is frivolous. The education argument seeks to negate that view.

    YouTube and the larger issue of Internet Censorship in general is about access. Access to a platform which is voluntary. Which is true of the Internet. Don’t want to see something, don’t search for it and don’t watch it. Really that simple.Recommend

  • Hitler
    Apr 13, 2014 - 5:52PM

    The people who could not have succeed in life otherwise are the leaders of this country, pity!

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  • Hitler
    Apr 13, 2014 - 5:52PM

    The people who could not have succeeded i life otherwise are leaders of this nation, pity!

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  • Ashar Aziz
    Apr 13, 2014 - 6:13PM

    @Toba Alu
    Youtube has very bad intentions. It has videos which attack Islam. No one has a fundamental right to anti-islam websites.

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  • Apr 13, 2014 - 6:27PM

    Regardless of which party started it or is to blame – the ban exists. YouTube should be allowed into the country. To ban it because some of the content is offensive is the reaction of the ignorant.

    If some of the content is offensive – then ignore it and enjoy all the millions of other videos that offer real information and education. Its amazing how there is help on almost every subject — that too on demand.

    In a country where education is not a priority and where real education is only accessible to the extremely affluent – its rather shortsighted to close a pipeline of information that should be exploited rather than ignored.

    The powers that be ought to lift the ban for the benefit of the country, to not keep in the spotlight on the issue that is offensive and to show the world that we can and will overlook stupidity rather than reacting to it.

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  • yousafhaque
    Apr 13, 2014 - 7:09PM

    Bench has directed the minister to meet the experts before may 13.i.e another one month given to the minister for experts to be found.The govt. has decided to follow court’s rulings.Looks the things are going in right direction.Next is supreme court and then they can go into an appeal and then some decision will sure be taken as to what should be done next.All in due course

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  • Apr 13, 2014 - 7:34PM

    @yousafhaque: the government doesn’t have to find experts: they’ve been found by the court already (see previous news about the court’s decision). The government has made no attempt to meet the experts.

    The court has also repeatedly asked the government to declare its stance on lifting the ban, something the government has to decide on its own. The government has not done that.

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  • unbelievable
    Apr 13, 2014 - 8:00PM

    Until you develop the courage to stand up to religious extremist your never going anywhere. YouTube ban and blasphemy laws have same roots.

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  • yousafhaque
    Apr 13, 2014 - 8:42PM

    @Faried Nawaz:::I agree with you in full.I have written these lines out of sheer frustration because youth is being continuously deprived of unfathomable wealth of knowledge because of some ‘unknown’ reasons by simply making lame excuses

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  • Randomstranger
    Apr 13, 2014 - 9:18PM

    @ashar aziz

    Well google can lead to a lot of anti-islam pages as well, so do you suggest the government ban google as well? More importantly, even the website search box can lead to anti-islam websites, do you suggest the internet should be banned altogether?

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  • Deepak
    Apr 14, 2014 - 8:56AM

    The arguments used to block youtube can also be used to block the entire internet, so….
    Sometimes am thankful for the 1947 partition! Granted that politicians are nuts on either side of the border, but to have even general population to think like @Ashar Aziz ( and worse so many people recommending his view) would have been a real burden on India. I feel sorry for your liberals.

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  • Haris
    Apr 14, 2014 - 9:22AM

    So when does Lahore HC plans to give a decision on the case; until then, poor us.

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  • Ali
    Apr 14, 2014 - 3:20PM

    @Deepak:
    Different views by different people…Well that is democracy isn’t it ? :)

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  • Deepak
    Apr 14, 2014 - 4:16PM

    @Ali ofcourse brother! Savour your democracy. And while you are at it also try reasoning with the CII or convincing taliban on the importance of polio vaccination! Different views by different people… Enjoys.
    ~peace~

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  • Prince
    Apr 22, 2014 - 8:52PM

    In my view it is best to keep a ban on youtube. No one should have the right to attack anyone’s religion. No sites should display such blasphemous contents. And i am not a muslim.

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  • Proletarian
    Apr 28, 2014 - 1:48PM

    Burn down these reactionary courts and exile all reactionary politicians

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