ISLAMABAD: A resolution seeking the removal of the ban on YouTube was unanimously passed in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Express News reported.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Shazia Mari presented the resolution in the session of the National Assembly today.
The government had blocked the video-sharing website YouTube in Pakistan on September 17, 2012, following a controversial film.
During the session, State Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar suggested that a committee be formed to decide whether the ban should be removed or not.
Mari protested against the ban, demanding immediate action from the government in this matter and said it affected students and businessmen negatively.
She criticised the government for not taking any steps to unblock the website, saying “YouTube is essential to get advanced knowledge and information, but the government is pushing the people towards darkness by putting a ban on this important facility.”
PPP MNA had previously stated, “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.”
“The distribution of laptops sans technologically advancement would not serve any objective of this scheme”, she stated. “It is the duty of the Pakistan Telecommunication Community (PTA) to filter the controversial sites and open useful content for the growing number of internet users”, she maintained.
Today, Tarar further stated that government wanted to lift the ban on YouTube and said that it was not possible to remove all the content considered ‘objectionable’ from the internet or YouTube.
“The government is as interested as the opposition to come to a solution for unblocking YouTube, but it is a sensitive issue,” Tarar said.
Government will not be an obstacle in this and will support the initiative to lift the ban, claimed Tarar.
She said that the Supreme Court has even asked the government to lift the ban by blocking all the controversial movies, but it is not possible technically.
No date has been given as to when the ban would be removed as yet.
“Pakistan is the only Islamic country where YouTube services are blocked,” Mari told The Express Tribune.
Other Islamic countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia who had also imposed a ban on the video-sharing site for the same reason unblocked it after taking necessary measures, she explained asking for an uplift of the ban.
She further added that after launching next generation services such as 3G and 4G there is no reason to block YouTube.