Freedom of information

Article 19(A) of the present constitution of Pakistan declares freedom of speech and right to information for all citizens but conversely, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority or PTA bans online sources of information unnecessarily. YouTube has been banned in Pakistan since September 17, 2012 following the post of a blasphemous video named ‘Innocence of Muslims.’ PTA assured that the matter would be resolved by coordinating with Google to manufacture Pakistan’s own YouTube website which would result in better management of blasphemous content.
But to no one’s surprise nothing happened. I, as a student, know the value of educational content on YouTube and other websites banned by PTA. The conspicuous solution is to ban the offensive content only and not the entire source. Even the strategy to banning the entire source is in vain, since YouTube is accessible through proxy networks and YouTube’s android application. Though, these methods significantly affect the site’s performance and upload potential.
As YouTube is one of the most prominent sources of graphical information, its chronic boycott has isolated Pakistanis from the world. If Pakistan truly believes in freedom of speech and right to information, then it should be demonstrated through unclogging YouTube and other websites.
Karachi, May 19.

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