Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Saturday issued orders to all Internet service providers in the country to immediately unblock YouTube.
In a tweet Friday night, Interior Minister of Pakistan, Rehman Malik announced about unblocking of Youtube in the country within next 24 hours.
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There was a gr8 demand to unblock Utube from all sections of society esp fellow tweeps..expect the notification tday! Hope u r all happy now
— Rehman Malik (@SenRehmanMalik) December 28, 2012
PTA officials reported that the decision to block access to the video sharing website has been taken after implementing measures to filter blasphemous material and pornographic content.
“PTA is finalizing negotiations for acquiring a powerful firewall software to totally block pornographic and blasphemous material,” said Pakistan Interior Ministor Rehman Malik.
Malik said on Twitter that the step to allow access to YouTube was taken in response to a huge public demand from web users in Pakistan.
“There was a great demand to unblock YouTube from all sections of society… expect the notification today,” Malik said (as embedded in tweet above).
The world’s largest video sharing website got blocked in Pakistan back in September 2012 in a protest against anti-Islamic short clip from a two hour long produced film that went viral on the video streaming giant.
Despite many requests by the Pakistani government to block the video or either to take it off the web, no measures were taken by the web giant Google and the video-sharing site remained blocked for more than 100 days till this date.
Three weeks following the ban on YouTube some users in Pakistan reported their successful access to the video sharing site for a short span of time. However, the website was immediately blocked again in few hours followed by a statement from Pakistan’s IT minister, who later denied issuing any notification to the Internet service providers in Pakistan to unblock the video sharing website.
The Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan (ISPAK) received the first official notification to unblock YouTube in the country on Friday.
However, a local news channel in Pakistan claims that Prime Minister of Pakistan might block the video sharing website again. Below are some tweet messages, after that news:
Islamabad – PM Raja Pervez Ashraf stops PTA from lifting ban on #youtube on reports that blasphemous film still exists on website.
— BBC Urdu News (@bbc_urdu) December 29, 2012
— NoorulHuda Daudpota (@pink_b) December 29, 2012
Prior to this, YouTube had been blocked in Pakistan in 2008 and 2010.
Update 7:12 AM EST [5:12 PM Pakistan time]: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on orders of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has blocked YouTube again.