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Senate committee resolution seeks to lift Youtube ban

Updated April 21, 2014
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.