ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s new IT minister has warned that Google could be blocked in the country if the company fails to remove blasphemous and objectionable material from its video-sharing website YouTube, the Press Trust of India reported.
Minister of State for IT and Telecommunication Anusha Rahman Khan made the remarks on her first day in office yesterday while talking about Pakistan’s efforts to end a nine-month ban on YouTube for hosting clips from the controversial film “Innocence of Muslims”.
Google, the parent company of YouTube, had rejected requests from the previous Pakistan People’s Party-led government to remove the objectionable material and Khan said she hoped the company would listen to the new PML-N government.
“It all depends on our negotiation clout. If they persist with their stance, we can block Google in Pakistan as a last resort as there are many alternative search engines available on the web,” Khan was quoted as saying by The News daily.
“Innocence Of Muslims” triggered violent protests by right wing groups across Pakistan and the PPP-led government itself sanctioned a day of protests in September last year. Twenty-three people were killed and property worth billions of rupees was destroyed during these protests.
The PML-N government has listed as one of its priorities the restoration of YouTube with filters to screen blasphemous and pornographic content.
Pakistan banned YouTube on September 17 last year.