With a US court ordering Google to remove an anti-Islam film from YouTube, Pakistani internet activists today said the government here had lost its "moral high ground" and should remove a ban on the video-sharing website.
The world's largest video-sharing site has been banned in Pakistan since September 2012, when then Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf asked the Information Ministry to block it over the presence of clips from the movie "Innocence Of Muslims".
The ban was imposed after YouTube refused to heed the Pakistan government's request to remove the clips of the film considered blasphemous. The videos on YouTube had triggered violent protests in many countries, including Pakistan.
A US Appeals Court yesterday ordered Google, which owns YouTube, to remove the film in response to a lawsuit by an actress who says she was tricked into appearing in it.
"With this, the Pakistan government has now lost its moral high ground to ban YouTube. The government should now unblock it," Furhan Hussain of Byes for All, an internet rights organisation that has filed a court case against the ban, told PTI.
He argued the real motive behind the ban was political.
"Religion was just used as an excuse to ban YouTube. The real aim was to block any alternate viewpoint. The order of the US court will act like pressure on the government," he said.
Bytes For All's petition is being heard by the Lahore High Court and the next hearing is scheduled for next week.
Many companies, students, youths, performers and activists have been affected by the ban.