Pakistan has unblocked the video sharing site, YouTube, more than three years after it was banned for posting a video deemed insulting to Islam. Pakistan’s telecoms regulator (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) said the ban was no longer necessary because Google, which owns YouTube, had now launched a Pakistan-specific version. Many young Pakistanis have welcomed the lifting of the ban but some activists want details of the deal with Google.
In 2012, the ban was imposed by the Supreme Court after the US-made film Innocence of Muslims was uploaded. The amateur-made video was condemned in the Muslim world and sparked widespread protests for its mocking portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad. More than a dozen people died in protests in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s ministry of information technology said on Monday:
“Google has provided an online web process through which requests for blocking access of offending material can be made by the PTA to Google directly and Google/YouTube will accordingly restrict access to the said offending material for users within Pakistan.”
The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd posted on its Facebook page on Monday: “Welcome Back YouTube”.