Pak government unlikely to lift ban on YouTube
The Pakistan government is unlikely to lift ban on popular video-sharing website, YouTube.
The problem stems from the fact that Pakistan and the United States lack a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), which is what the company usually uses to filter out objectionable videos.
Google, which owns YouTube, has refused to remove the anti-Islam video that triggered widespread protests across the country.
As a result, the authorities banned the website indefinitely. Two months have passed since then.
In the absence of a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the United States, all that Pakistan can do is use diplomatic channels to request the US government to make the social website accept Pakistan's demand, according to an information technology ministry official.
"I am sure the US government will respect our request," the Express Tribune quoted, an official, as saying.
"YouTube has always asked us to use MLAT for requests to remove the video as they are not bound by our local laws," he added.
The treaty, according to the official, allows and facilitates two governments to enforce public and criminal laws. But Pakistan and the US have no such treaty between them. The IT ministry has already asked the foreign ministry to initiate the treaty.
"It is a long process. It will take at least a year to materialise," said the official.
The assistance under MLAT provides for immobilization of the instruments of criminal activity, which can be used to pressure Google for the removal of any objectionable content that violates local public or criminal laws or damages a partner country's interests, according to an official from the IT ministry's legal department.