Pak blocks You tube access to controversial film

Islamabad: Pakistani authorities on Thursday blocked access to a clip of an anti-Islam movie that has triggered protests across the Muslim world even as hardline groups like the Jamaat-ud-Dawah announced plans to organise demonstrations against it.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority blocked pages on YouTube and other video sharing websites that had a clip from the controversial movie.

PTA officials told the media they had been directed by the Information Technology Ministry this afternoon to block the video.

Action was taken to block every Internet link that features the offensive video, the officials said.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority had been directed to ban the anti-Islam movie’s trailer across the country.

No one would be allowed to project such hate content against the Prophet, he told reporters outside the parliament.

Despite the action taken by the government and a condemnation issued by the Foreign Ministry, hardline groups like the JuD said they would organise protests against the film after Friday prayers.

A JuD spokesman said his group and the Tehrik-e-Hurmat-e- Rasool would organise a protest in Islamabad tomorrow afternoon.

Reports said other hardline groups too were planning protests in cities like Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi.

The Foreign Office yesterday condemned the killing of the US Ambassador in Libya during protests against the anti-Islam film but said that the movie had “deeply hurt” the feelings of Pakistanis and Muslims around the world.

US Ambassador Christopher Stephen and three other American officials died when gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades and set fire to the US mission during protests.

Pakistan condemned the emergence of a clip from the film. “The government of Pakistan strongly condemns the airing of a defamatory video clip in the US… on the eve of September 11, 2012,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

“Such abominable actions, synchronised with commemoration of atrocious events like 9/11, provoke hatred, discord and enmity within societies and between peoples of various faiths”.

The anti-Islam film also figured on Thursday in the National Assembly or lower house of parliament, with lawmakers strongly condemning the emergence of the clip.

The parliamentarians demanded that the government should convey their sentiments to the United Nations for necessary action against the film’s makers.

The House unanimously adopted a resolution against the film that was tabled by Law Minister Farooq Naek.

The resolution stated that the House believed such actions, synchronized with the commemoration of an event like 9/11, provoked hatred and enmity between people of various faiths.

The resolution further said Pakistan is a strong proponent of interfaith harmony and believes all manifestations of extremist tendencies must be opposed.

Speaking on the issue, Minister for Defense Production Bahadur Khan Sehar said interfaith harmony is essential for co-existence in the world and all world powers are required to abstain from such actions. The film was also opposed by Christian lawmakers.