Pakistan has blocked the popular video sharing website YouTube indefinitely in a bid to contain “blasphemous” material, officials said on Thursday.
The blockade came after the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority directed Internet service providers to stop access to social network site Facebook indefinitely on Wednesday because of an online competition to draw the Prophet Muhammad.
Wahaj-us-Siraj, the CEO of Nayatel, an Internet service provider, said the PTA issued an order late on Wednesday seeking an “immediate” block of YouTube.
YouTube was also blocked in the Muslim country in 2007 for about a year for what it called un-Islamic videos.
A Foreign Office spokesman condemned the publication of caricatures of the Muslim prophet on Facebook and urged countries to “address the issue” which he said was an “extremely sensitive and emotional matter for Muslims.”
The publications of cartoons of the prophet in Danish newspapers in 2005 sparked deadly protests in Muslim countries. About 50 people were killed during violent protests in Muslim countries in 2006 over the cartoons, five of them in Pakistan.