In an email sent just now by the webmaster of Make Pakistan Better, I was shocked to read that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Director General (Enforcement) Yawer Yasin has instructed all its Zonal Directors on 18th January 2010 to block the website http://makepakistanbetter.com on an IP level.
Since its blocked from Pakistan one can still view the website from Google cache and it shows some interesting anti-government articles which may have been the thorn that lead to the blockage. I believe this is a serious invasion of freedom of speech and sadly the PTA has not defined or responded to the reason why this website has been deemed objectionable for users in Pakistan
Upon contacting the website owner he explained
“This website’s main goal is to bring news to common public which our biased media has deliberately tried to blackout. We have many authors on our website who openly criticize the Pakistan Army, the PPP government & others individuals their write-ups, so I think our site is blocked because of these same hard hitting articles. You simply cannot block a website on the basis of having a strong and opposing opinion, because in a country where anti-Islamic or Anti-Pakistan site’s are not blocked and even in an Islamic state where practically millions of pornographic sites are wide open so the whim of blocking a particular site based upon strong criticism against a certain group of individuals in power should not justifiable or even accepted by society.“
As a civil society activist for unrestricted free speech in Pakistan, I vehemently condemn this incident and immediately urge the government of Pakistan to remove this censorship with immediate effect.
Press Statment issued by Dont Block the Blog can be downloaded here