Islamabad: `Surf Safely...Prohibited for viewership from within Pakistan!` This is the message that pops up on computer screens here when you try to access YouTube that has been banned in the country for the past one year.
It was September 17, 2012 when then Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf ordered the Information Ministry to block the world`s largest videos sharing website in the country.
The ban was imposed after YouTube refused to heed to the Pakistan government`s request to remove `Innocence of the Muslims` from the website, a film that was considered blasphemous and sparked violence in many Muslim countries across the world.
Authorities here have not been able to block relevant videos that are considered to be blasphemous even after a year.
Many companies, students, youth and activists have been the unintentional casualties of the ban.
A petition to lift the ban is pending before a Pakistani court.
"Today, #Pakistan celebrates: The Good: Malala receives Top Amnesty Award The Bad: Youtube Ban Anniversary," a Twitter user said.
"Today is 1st anniversary of #YouTube ban in #Pakistan. Neither #pmln government nor #PTI is making any effort. Even #PPP ruined," another tweeted.
Social networking sites, including Facebook have been buzzing with people who are frustrated with the ban.
An expat who recently moved to Pakistan said, "When I moved here, I though I will watch my favourite shows on the YouTube but the ban has been a dampener. Waiting for the authorities to lift the ban."
On August 22, State Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman had said that Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) had helped to provide filters through which over 4,000 URLs containing blasphemous content were blocked.
The filters are currently under trial.