The world’s largest videos sharing website was blocked in the country in September 2012 on the orders of then Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. The ban was imposed after YouTube refused to heed to Pakistan government’s request to remove ‘Innocence of the Muslims’ from the website, a film that was considered blasphemous and sparked violence in many Muslim countries across the world.
The government has been trying to block specific videos but has been unable to do so till now. Rehman explained to the committee that the government had succeeded in convincing the Google management about religious sensitivities of Pakistanis.
The local search engine will also make it easier to block any blasphemous or objectionable content, she was quoted as saying. Rehman, however, said the management of Google will do so after the government of Pakistan meets some of its conditions.
“Management of Google/YouTube has shown its willingness to localize YouTube in Pakistan provided they will not be held responsible if blasphemous content is placed and uploaded on its website,” Rehman said.
“The web service will not be held responsible for blasphemous content uploaded on its sites as that will be a personal action of the individual,” she said quoting the Google management.
“The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is finalizing a draft ordinance which will be processed by the ministry for enactment as law,” Rehman said. She said that once YouTube was localized, blocking objectionable content would be easier.
“Instead of installing costly filtration mechanisms, Google will easily be able to block blasphemous content on the request of the Pakistan government. Saudi Arabia and Malaysia have also reached a similar arrangement with Google,” Rehman said.
By localization of Youtube in Pakistan means that Google will not be able to violating its own company as every man has a right to express on it. IT Minister Anusha Rehman said that it was the request of Google management to the government of Pakistan.
She said that I cannot give the exact date of YouTube opening in Pakistan however it will be solved soon.