Ministry hesitant over YouTube opening
By: Usman Cheema
ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom is facing the situation of ‘who will bell the cat,’ as the government wants to reopen YouTube but is unable to find a shoulder to share load if something wrong happens.
The Nation through reliable sources has learnt that the previous and incumbent governments are facing the same problem. The previous government was willing to open YouTube that was banned due to blasphemous content uploaded on it but it was hesitant to issue directive in that regard for matter being very sensitive in the Pakistani society.
Then the interim government also wanted to open the site and in several meetings with the officials of PTA high-ups it expressed its willingness but PTA refused to do so without a written order issued by the government.
Now the present government of PML-N has also expressed its willingness to open the site that shares many things other than controversial blasphemous movie. It has been learnt that Minister of State for IT and Telecom Anushe Rehman is willing to open the site but again has sought the help of PTA officials that again has been denied by them.
Sources in PTA has told The Nation that the authority cannot do anything in this regard and all the steps to be taken to reopen the website is the responsibility of the government. They said that PTA neither banned the site on its own nor it can open it. Then Prime Minister had issued written orders to PTA to ban the site for its being controversial and it has denied removing blasphemous content from the site.
The sources said that the content is still available on the site and reopening of the site can trigger protests in the country again though many quarters of the society are demanding its reopening, taking the plea that people should not watch the controversial content but take the benefit of other material available on it.
On the role of PTA, they said that PTA even did not ban porn sites ever and a committee is formed for the purpose to identify such sites and then direct the authority to issue orders to the Internet service providers to ban such websites.
In short PTA acts on the direction of the government and cannot take any step without the orders of the government. They said that if the government wants to reopen the site, it will never find a shoulder and would have to take step on its own and in case of any consequences PTA would have nothing to do with it.