Pakistan artists call for lift on YouTube ban
Karachi, Feb. 7 : The Pakistan government's ban on video-sharing website YouTube has been protested on Twitter and Facebook time and again by journalists, musicians and ordinary citizens in the past four months.
While most have tried to live a life without YouTube - either by using Vimeo and Dailymotion -, the Pakistani music industry has suffered largely in silence, reports The Express Tribune.
One group of artists has realised the importance of such a video-sharing platform, and has come up with a unique way to protest the ban - YouTube Aloud, a collaborative effort between Omran Shafique (Momo) from Mauj, Hamza Jaafri from CoVEN and Pakistan's child prodigy Usman Riaz.
YouTube Aloud is a social media page where the musicians and the Facebook community will express their thoughts about how the ban is having a negative effect on society, Riaz said.
In December, Riaz had posted a message on his Facebook page, asking other artists such as Adil Omar, Natasha Humera Ejaz and Mole if they would be interested in holding a marathon concert in support of YouTube.
Most people gave a positive response to Riaz's post. But so far, the concert has not taken place.
Musicians Zohaib Kazi and Zoe Viccaji recently wrote an open letter requesting Interior Minister Rehman Malik to restore the site.
Even Junaid Jamshed, the former Vital Signs member turned entrepreneur, feels YouTube should be restored. According to Jamshed, YouTube is a source of research and information.
Jamshed said YouTube is a free medium of information for people and it plays a pivotal role in religious education because a large number of people go on YouTube to read the Quran and other religious texts.