A Pakistani court Thursday refused to issue an interim order to restore
the services of banned video-sharing website, YouTube, in the country.
Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of Lahore High Court sought suggestions from
experts of Ministry of Information Technology about "removing
blasphemous and undesirable material" from YouTube and other websites
for July 25.
Shah was hearing a petition filed by NGO - Bytes for All - for lifting the ban.
Pakistan Peoples Party government in September last year, had banned
YouTube across the country following refusal of its parent company
Google to remove a blasphemous film from the site, which had triggered
violent protests in the conservative Islamic nation.
The petitioner's counsel urged the court to pass an interim order to the PML-N government for restoring the access to YouTube.
deputy attorney general opposed the plea contending that it was a
"sensitive matter" and allowing access to YouTube might trigger protests
in the country.
Advocate Dasie Hamdani, counsel for the
petitioner, maintained, "All internet curbs are counterproductive and
deprive Pakistanis of the right to access information as well as the
right to counter any propaganda against the country or against their
beliefs. Taking away the access to YouTube is tantamount to taking away a
The ban amounted to infringement of fundamental
rights to reading and knowledge as a large number of people of Pakistan
had been affecting by the ban, he argued.