Twitter, the famous micro-blogging website, has been blocked in Pakistan since today morning i.e. that of 20th May 2012. A similar action was taken against the social networking web site Facebook two years ago, when it was banned by the Lahore High Court.
According to News Agency AFP,
Pakistan blocked Twitter on Sunday, saying the website had refused to remove posts promoting a Facebook competition involving caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.
“The website has been banned by the Ministry of Information Technology and the decision was conveyed to us. There was blasphemous material on Twitter,” said Mohammad Younis Khan, spokesman for Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
“Both Facebook and Twitter were involved. We negotiated with both. Facebook has agreed to remove the stuff but Twitter is not responding to us.”
For that reason Twitter had been blocked but Facebook was still available, he said, adding that those responsible for the competition were “trying to hurt Muslim feelings”.
Ironically, #TwitterBan started trending across Pakistan soon after the ban was exposed.\
Responding to a question last night, Rehman Malik, the country’s interior minister, had denied that ban on social networking sites was in the offing.
“The government of Pakistan’s ban on Twitter is ill advised, counterproductive and will ultimately prove to be futile as all such attempts at censorship have proved to be,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch, in a press statement. “The right to free speech is nonnegotiable, and if Pakistan is the rights-respecting democracy it claims to be, this ban must be lifted forthwith. Free speech can and should only be countered with free speech.”
“Twitter is a place where fierce opposition to Pakistan’s security agencies is expressed,” said Raza Rumi , a widely read columnist and an adviser at the Jinnah Institute, a public policy center based in Islamabad, while talking to New York Times.
“There is a clear trend,” Mr. Rumi said, “that the Pakistani military and spy agency get a strong critique from Pakistanis themselves, something that does not happen in mainstream media where people are generally shy to express such views.”|
Access to twitter has been allowed again in Pakistan after one day of twitter black out.