Pakistan bans Wikipedia for not removing blasphemous content
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said it had given 48 hours to Wikipedia to follow the directives, but it did not do so.
The Pakistan government on Saturday banned Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia, for not blocking or removing blasphemous content from the website, Dawn reported.
The government said that Wikipedia was given a deadline of 48 hours for complying with the directives but did not receive any response.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority spokesperson Malahat Obaid told Dawn that Wikipedia was banned primarily for not complying with the orders.
“The decision can be reviewed once Wikipedia removes sacrilegious content that has been identified by the regulatory authority,” he added.
On Friday, the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the website, had said that it does not make decisions about what content is included on Wikipedia or how that content is maintained.
It also called upon the Pakistani government to restore access to the site in the country.
“In Pakistan, English Wikipedia receives more than 50 million pageviews per month,” the Wikimedia Foundation said in a statement. “A block of Wikipedia in Pakistan denies the fifth most populous nation in the world access to the largest free knowledge repository. If it continues, it will also deprive everyone access to Pakistan’s knowledge, history and culture.”
The foundation also urged the Pakistan government to raise its concern through dedicated channels on the website.
“We hope that the Pakistan government joins with the Wikimedia Foundation in a commitment to knowledge as a human right and restores access to Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects promptly, so that the people of Pakistan can continue to receive and share knowledge with the world,” it added.