Pakistani government is still not sure if it is ready to lift the ban from the world’s largest video-sharing site, YouTube. The main reason is due to non-existence of any agreement between Pakistan and the United States where the site is headquartered. The agreement in the form of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) is required for Pakistan to convey its own terms and conditions for the site to operate in Pakistan and follow its laws.
YouTube is not liable to Pakistani laws and Pakistani authorities cannot exercise their command on it. YouTube fulfills requests for filtration from those countries that have signed the MLAT with the US. Although the fact is that despite the US government requesting the removal of the offensive anti-Islam video, YouTube found it to be within their guidelines.
It is just an excuse that an MLAT is being the central reason for not being able to remove the content. Though all links to such material has been already blocked, Pakistani government is adamant on refusing citizens’ right to access the website, which is used in educational and informational way as well as for providing entertainment. Since Google, which is the parent company for YouTube, has refused to acknowledge any violation of a law in keeping the video, it is unnecessary to demand the removal of such content.
The internet is full of blasphemous content, some of which is accessible. Banning of the YouTube has actually caused more harm to the people than achieving the aim of demanding respect for the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). In fact, YouTube can provide a chance to many people to post videos in response to such a content and explain why the Beloved Prophet is worthy of respect from everyone. Freedom of expression is an important value to uphold, but so is the value of respect for a society’s growth.