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PM orders to immediately restore Wikipedia

PM orders to immediately restore Wikipedia

PM orders to immediately restore Wikipedia

PTA had banned Wikipedia in Pakistan.

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  • Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed to restore Wikipedia
  • He ordered to form a cabinet committee on online content
  • The ban was lifted on the recommendations of  a ministerial committee
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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed to restore popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia website with immediate effect.

This was announced by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb. She said the prime minister has also constituted a cabinet committee on matters related to Wikipedia and other online content.

The five-member committee, spearheaded by Minister for Information Technology and Communication Syed Amin-ul-Haque includes Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, Law Minister Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar, Minister for Trade Syed Naveed Qamar, and Minister for Communication Asad Mehmood.

PM Shehbaz Sharif constituted the committee and issued directives for the restoration of the Wikipedia website in light of the recommendations of a ministerial committee.

The ministerial committee included the ministers for Information and Broadcasting, Law and Justice, and Economic Affairs.

 

A statement by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said that the matter was placed before the prime minister. The statement said that the prime minister then constituted a committee comprising the law, economic affairs and information ministers for “preliminary examination of the matter”.

During the committee meeting, the members highlighted how Wikipedia was a useful website supporting the “dissemination of knowledge and information for the public, students and the academia”.

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The statement said “blocking the site in its entirety was not a suitable measure to restrict access to some objectionable content”. It added that the “unintended consequences of this blanket ban, therefore, outweigh its benefits.”

PM Shehbaz ordered the immediate restoration of the website and also constituted a separate cabinet committee to “review the suitability” of the PTA’s move to block Wikipedia.

The committee would also explore and recommend alternative technical measures for the removal or blocking of objectionable content on Wikipedia and other online information sites.

The statement said the committee would also give other recommendations with the objective of controlling unlawful online content in a “balanced manner”.

The committee will present its report with recommendations for consideration of the federal cabinet within a week.

On February 4, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) banned Wikipedia for not blocking or removing sacrilegious content. The telecom regulator had earlier degraded Wikipedia services for 48 hours for not complying with its directives.

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