YouTube ban: Resolution unanimously passed in National Assembly

Published: May 6, 2014
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PPP MNA Shazia Mari presents a resolution seeking removal of ban on YouTube. CREATIVE COMMONS

PPP MNA Shazia Mari presents a resolution seeking removal of ban on YouTube. CREATIVE COMMONS

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.

Other countries

“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.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • lalai
    May 6, 2014 - 1:18PM

    Sanity prevails at last.

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  • Uhh
    May 6, 2014 - 1:24PM

    PPP didn’t able to lift the ban in their own government, now they are blaming PML-N. What a joke !

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  • Alann
    May 6, 2014 - 1:25PM

    All the countries around the world pass resolutions in their constituent assemblies on matters of serious importance in relation to their country’s development.
    Pakistan’s National Assembly passes resolutions for unbanning of entertainment websites, and to ‘condemn’ things happening in India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Syria, UK and elsewhere (except sweeter than sweetest honey China & the generous dates-donor Saudi Arabia).
    I wonder what do Pakistan’s elected representatives do in their spare time when they are not busy passing resolutions on such “important” issues.

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  • incognito
    May 6, 2014 - 1:32PM

    Good move for once! Lets hope that the powers that BE act on this resolution positively. TBH I have little hopes from them :(

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  • salman
    May 6, 2014 - 1:36PM

    “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.”

    LOL! Isn’t they were the ones who imposed a nonsensical ban at first place ?

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  • RKM
    May 6, 2014 - 1:39PM

    Didn’t Ms. Marri’s government actually blocked it? and shes crying now that the government is not doing anything in this regard. SighRecommend

  • May 6, 2014 - 1:53PM

    Hope this will be lifted soon and people can watch without any problem soon and watch it wisely without opening objectionable content over this web site.Recommend

  • millions of students
    May 6, 2014 - 2:00PM

    I continue to use youtube for educational purposes via proxy.
    SO MANY STUDENTS WILL BENEFIT FROM OPENING YOUTUBE.

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  • Realist
    May 6, 2014 - 2:07PM

    Sure, lots of learning material on YouTube. May be we should fire teachers and install large screens playing YouTube in classrooms.

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  • kanwal
    May 6, 2014 - 2:09PM

    This is a good move. Finally. Better late than never.

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  • May 6, 2014 - 2:10PM

    They are all like those new years resolution that we make..

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  • Aftab
    May 6, 2014 - 2:23PM

    @Alann

    Unless we reforms our madrasahs education, such kind of stupidities will go on happening. Masses coming out of madrasah education are intellectually zero and a big factory of mass destruction. As long we do not reform our madrasah education, these madrasahs output will continuously keep our governments busy in talking others matters through their street powers

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  • unbelievable
    May 6, 2014 - 2:25PM

    Google: 1 Pakistan: 0. I recall that when this first started the Pakistani govt kept saying that it was going to resolve this through a treaty with the USA (not even plausible given the Freedom of Speech issue) and many posts predicted Google would cave in because it couldn’t afford to lose all that revenue generated by Pakistan. So much for Chest Thumping.

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  • Usman
    May 6, 2014 - 2:40PM

    It’s not this government or last one. I’m this happen because of 3G and 4G. Companies spend lot of money and now they have to recover. They know people of Pakistan gonna spend lot of time surging net specially these kind of (YouTube) sites. More you will use more they will make money. All te best to everyone

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  • JiJi
    May 6, 2014 - 3:20PM

    please note for future elections this sane proposal came from The PPP lady member ….

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  • Necromancer
    May 6, 2014 - 4:06PM

    How naive……….. it was PPP who blocked it in the first place and now she is passing resolutions against it what a shame

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  • hmm
    May 6, 2014 - 4:10PM

    Yay, so are we going to see a reduction in load shedding? And inflation will come down? And poor people (50% of Pakistan) will sing in joy? Since this is such an important issue in Pakistan. Issue of YouTube is only important for limited number of people, i also want the ban lifted but when i contemplate about issues prevailing in Pakistan at the moment, i don’t deem it to be a case of life and death.

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  • JuezVictory
    May 6, 2014 - 4:31PM

    So idiotic move. Law and order energy crisis, Thar PPP Poor Massacre is not priority issues, Issue is Youtube, because Juez bought shazia Mari, Mushahid Hussain and few others to work for their agenda. And about educational content. We have seen the education the youth is having in Sindh, Only they rely on Botee to clear their exams , Because of poor PPP governance there. And now lets see A state will bow in front of corporate or not.

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  • Akash
    May 6, 2014 - 4:43PM

    @Uhh:
    The PROBLEM is not PML-N or PPP BUT very powerful ( unfortunately for us) MULLAH LOBBY.
    PPP avoided them as they were already busy in Memogate, type of the things and PML-N has also engaged in Musharraf and TTP issues and most recently media military relation.
    And we all know that these religious parties have very close ties with our military estabilishment so if Govt. pushes military estb. in case of musharraf religious thekedaar of our country will put pressure on govt for doing unislamic type of things and so on and so forth

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  • mateen saeed
    May 6, 2014 - 4:58PM

    Eventually initiative is likely to be taken after about two years when host of self employed net cafe owners had to shut down their business, gone workless after selling their computers as scrape. I wish Govt of Shazia Marri;s party had removed this ban.

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  • Asad
    May 6, 2014 - 5:00PM

    @Realist
    I understand the sarcasm in your comment, but if what you are saying can be implemented, it will make the education system better than what it is currently. It will also be more cost effective than having inefficient teachers who are given salaries for sitting at home.

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  • Shahid Kinnare
    May 6, 2014 - 5:14PM

    After the passing of resolution ban should have lifted within matter of minutes. This show how much respect executive branch has for parliament.

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  • Azmat Khan
    May 6, 2014 - 5:43PM

    Well done Shazia.You are a bold PPP jiali.You are making a good name in the history

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  • Prakash
    May 6, 2014 - 5:44PM

    Somewhere someone in a Google office must be laughing.

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  • Khalid Mumtaz
    May 6, 2014 - 6:23PM

    There is some misinformation in the article. Turkey is another Muslim country where YouTube is banned perhaps for different reasons. At least our legislators should keep themselves informed of the facts.

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  • Hassan
    May 6, 2014 - 7:15PM

    Number of times I’ve used Youtube for educational purpose = 1%
    For all the other things = 99%

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  • wajid
    May 6, 2014 - 8:02PM

    @Prakash:

    would you like to explain, why they would be laughing?

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  • Ashraf
    May 6, 2014 - 8:11PM

    What has changed? Last time I checked, the objectionable videos were still there.

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  • yousafhaque
    May 6, 2014 - 10:00PM

    Whole article is nothing but a verbally perverted mind teaser with the gist that “a suggestion has been made in the ‘National Assembly’ that a ‘committee be formed’ to decide ‘whether the ban should be removed or not’.How clearly does it show the haunting feudal mindset of our reps

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  • Adpran (Indonesia)
    May 6, 2014 - 11:00PM

    I learn much about Pakistani people life through Youtube.

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  • Usman
    May 7, 2014 - 1:08AM

    The fact that they are removing the ban at this particular time proves how selfish people really are. YouTube gets unbanned right after the successful bidding of 3G/4G/LTE.

    Can’t say I’m surprised.

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  • PakForce
    May 7, 2014 - 12:37PM

    After Salman Taseer Brave move by Shazia Marri..

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