After restricting the website for two days, the government claims that the “unforeseen consequence” of an all-encompassing ban “outweigh its benefits.”
Karachi(web desk)-Saturday on 4th February, PTA banned the popular encyclopedia website Wikipedia all over Pakistan. According to reports PTA had given Wikipedia 48 hours to remove blasphemous content before the decision was made public on Saturday.
However, due to the outrage of internet users, the PM ordered to unblock the website.
Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Maryam Aurangzeb retweet the PM’s statement regarding the ban on Wikipedia, saying:,
PTA released a press release last week over the scenario and clear its action against the platform that Wikipedia allegedly disregarded the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s (PTA) ultimatum.
Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, condemned the action of PTA and defends their opinion by claiming that “Pakistanis will not be able to access the largest free knowledge resource as a result of the restriction”.
PTA spokesperson Malahat Obaid claimed, “Wikipedia has not adequately addressed the removal of alleged blasphemous content despite repeated requests. Some material was removed, but not all, leading to the decision to keep the website blocked until all objectionable content is taken down. The specifics of the controversial material have not been disclosed.”
The Wikimedia Foundation stated that the ban will restrict access to information about Pakistan’s history, culture, and knowledge. Free speech advocates have expressed concerns over this move, claiming it is part of a larger effort to control internet content and silence dissent. Usama Khilji, a digital rights activist, commented that blasphemy is often used as a tool to achieve this goal.
In a press release, Sharif stated his willingness to consider suggestions for regulating or controlling online content in a fair and reasonable way. He is also open to exploring other methods and technical solutions to remove or block content on Wikipedia or other information sites that may be offensive or sensitive in light of cultural, social, and religious considerations.