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Senate committee resolution seeks to lift Youtube ban

Updated Apr 21, 2014 10:37pm


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Members of the committee showed their concerns regarding the long-running ban on Youtube.—Handout Photo
Members of the committee showed their concerns regarding the long-running ban on Youtube.—Handout Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Senate’s functional committee on Human Rights on Monday approved a resolution that seeks to unblock the popular video-sharing website Youtube in Pakistan.

The video-sharing website has been blocked in Pakistan since September 2012 over its failure to take down the blasphemous “Innocence of Muslims” movie that sparked furious protests around the world. The American-made movie also triggered violent demonstrations across Pakistan that left more than 20 people dead.

A meeting of the functional committee was headed by its chairman Afrasiab Khattak, and attended by its members and the officials of the ministry of human rights.

The members of the committee expressed their concerns regarding the long-running ban on Youtube.

Also read: The right to suppress

The committee chairman said that there is no advantage of the ban while people can still access restricted videos from other websites.

Khattak said that there was no ban on Youtube in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) while the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) chairman already told the meeting that there was no advantage of the ban.

The members of the committee also said that they would raise the issue in the Senate session today.

Attack on journalist Hamid Mir condemned

The members of the committee also approved two separate resolutions regarding the gun-attack on journalist Hamid Mir and the incident of cannibalism in Bhakkar district.

Members of the committee said an attack on freedom of expression cannot be acceptable for anyone, and demanded that the government take strict action against the culprits.

The members said that the government should take measures to stop the increasing incidents of target killings of the journalists in the country.

Related: Judicial commission to investigate attack on Hamid Mir

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Sehar Kamran said that the government should initiate an inquiry, while media houses should avoid raising allegations against security agencies before an inquiry is conducted.

Committee members also showed their concerns on the incident of cannibalism in Bhakkar district.

Khattak said that the government should either amend existing laws or introduce and legislation against cannibalism.

Members of the committee also showed their concerns regarding the implementation of the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (PPO) in Sindh.


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Comments (19) Closed

Khurram Apr 21, 2014 04:37pm

So is this one of the most important issues the country is facing that Senate had to spend their valuable time and resources to pass resolution on? There may not be any benefit in blocking it, but there is certainly no benefit in discussing this issue at such a level putting aside much critical issues! Useless & Corrupt Politicians!

AJKhan Apr 21, 2014 04:49pm

@Khurram: Well said Khurram. First of all these politicians do not even know or understand Internet & the fact that there are millions of websites accessible which have more blasphemous content available. What do they care, the've stolen and continue to steal every Pakistani's right & benefits.

Braveheart Apr 21, 2014 04:52pm

How insane to support by saying illegal thing is available by other means it should be made legal. Liquor is easily available in every part of country, why should not we allow it and make it legal. Government is doing its responsibility by blocking it, the individual circumvention is not the responsibility of government. So please opposition do some thing positive and productive Except killing of Thar Poor and creating anarchy in Sindh to buy cheap property.

Asif Naeem Bhatti Apr 21, 2014 05:38pm

Pakistan Govt, you never fail to amaze me, WELL DONE!

Mohammad Asghar Apr 21, 2014 05:57pm

@Khurram: First they should have not put a ban on YouTube. It is a powerful resource of knowledge. There are other important issues and so is the YouTube issue.

sajawal Apr 21, 2014 06:39pm

@Khurram: can you think the dicussion of blockage of educational world is wastage of time

waqar mahboob Apr 21, 2014 06:51pm

hello sir i want to say about youtube ban if you think you can stop the people use of youtube its imposible lots of softwares lots of sites and other tips and trick are available so i request to you so much hackers are in pakistan they can hack many websites they also can hack youtube videos too so call them pay them and remove video from youtube thank plz publish this

@NoumanIjaz0 Apr 21, 2014 07:06pm

Hope the game being played behind the scenes should be finished soon. After all it is the matter of the requirement of every one in this country. Who has not been affected from this ban?? Students, teachers, businessmen, industries, media, women even none is on the better corner in this regard. There are a lot of things to be considered when it is the matter of the dignity and value of Islam and the belongings of the Islam. The closure of the youtube and other mandatory platforms is simply keeping the nation into the darkness nothing else. Now is the time to lift the ban and the site should be available as soon as possible for everyone already we have been affected from this a lot.

Salim A Apr 21, 2014 08:46pm

Keeping the people in the dark is the preferred way of the feudal and mullah. In their world, people do not know right from wrong and therefore should be kept in the dark, illiterate, ignorant and dependent on these two classes for protection and guidance. Pakistan is working hard to stay in the dark ages.

khawaja Apr 21, 2014 09:07pm

@Mohammad Asghar: It is also powerful source of hatred

Atherton Apr 21, 2014 09:15pm

@Mohammad Asghar: people are already watching you tube in offices, internet cafe on pc laptop through special soft ware called unblock you tube in Pakistan. what is the need to get permission from the govt by the SENATE committee and waste their time.

Naveed Ahmed Apr 21, 2014 10:27pm

We as a nation should not be so weak to surrender to a single internet corporation. We should observe our values and stand by our resolves. No matter how useful the website maybe, but it contains objectionable materials that illuminate Muslim sentiments. While we as a nation could suffer raids by the foreigners for arresting a single so-called terrorist, why can't we have policies and take stand by our policies just in matter of defending our faith against an objectionable software content?

Life Apr 21, 2014 11:27pm

This is really a good step. Youtube ban should be lifted immediately. Its the wealth of knowledge. Pakistanis might not be aware that they are being deprived of something on which the developed countries are relying.

khan Apr 21, 2014 11:59pm

Who needs youtube when we have youku from our all weather friend china? We should continue the ban on youtube and make youku usage mandatory for everyone, even those that don't have access to internet.

Khurram Apr 22, 2014 02:23am

@sajawal: As if the world was in Dark ages before Youtube existed? We had internet, we had access to worldwide web, we had access to authentic and independent information from the web and we still have it.

It is laughable to even talk about public rights and education in relation with blocking of Youtube.

owais Apr 22, 2014 08:30am

this ban should remain that same. plus they idols dont have nothing to serious to discuss. i guess they have got plenty of other pending issue which need to be addressed. Just waste man!!

advocate Apr 22, 2014 10:41am

Asif Naeem Bhatti 17 hours ago

Pakistan Govt, you never fail to amaze me, WELL DONE!

Burhan Apr 23, 2014 08:13am

I'm amazed to see all these people blaming the senate and saying this is a petty issue. These politicians are experienced. They know how to run the government. If it wasn't for them, pakistan wouldn't have such a strong foreign policy and it wouldn't be standing where it does in the world today. As for mr. Khurram. Please tell us what the senate "needs" to discuss and I'll be more than happy to tell you after checking if the senate already hasn't discussed it. As for my brother who said that it is goverents responsibility to enact the ban, please stop with your stereotypical, religiously extremist mindset and go live in th caves. I am glad this ban could be lifted. At least some of the citizens of this country would watch songs rather than adult videos on the net now.

Burhan Apr 23, 2014 08:22am

As a student, I know that YouTube helps me a lot in catching up with lectures that I missed in classes. Also, people post their videos on YouTube, not Vimeo or any other channel for that matter. YouTube is faster too. So how can you all say that there are a dozen others like YouTube? These alternatives don't have half the videos that YouTube has. Also, to those who are saying we should protect our faith, faith is a private matter. Go deal with it yourself. I may have a different faith than you but we both live in the same country. Is it my faith the ban is protecting? I won't say so. It just shows how incompetent and dependent you are on others that you can't even protect your faith.