Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Blocking Blogs in Pakistan

While Time magazine makes bloggers the People of the Year 2006, Pakistan government is blocking access to blogs

[By Mayank Austen Soofi]

Pakistan Paindabad blog (run by this author), along with several others hosted on Blogger - a popular blog-hosting service, has been blocked by the Pakistan government.

Replying to an e-mail, Mr. Danish of The Blogger Team said that the “Pakistan government has been blocking all Blog*Spot pages from being shown within that country”.

The world generally perceives Pakistan as a troubled nation with terrorists swarming within its border. This is not true. Due to obsessive attention to crisis news, the international media do not report the other realities of Pakistan. Pakistan Paindabad was launched on September 2006 as a humble attempt to make the world aware about the "normal" and beautiful aspects of this South Asian country.

In its short history, the blog-site has received support from many netizens. Some readers, particularly of Pakistani origin, have become habitual visitors; a few contribute articles, and even send spectacular photographs of the country to be published in the site.

Thus it is surprising that the site has been deemed unfit for the readers in Pakistan. Else why is it accessible everywhere but in that country?

President Pervez Musharraf has frequently pleaded for enlightened moderation. He has publicly lambasted the conservative elements in the society. A recent story in Pakistan Paindabad had lauded Mr. Musharraf for playing a proactive role in changing the anti-woman Hudood ordinance.

But the inaccessibility of blogs complicates the idea of enlightened moderation. This blogger urges President Musharraf to stop wasting time on harmless sites and immediately de-block them.

Pakistan Paindabad – Long Live Pakistan.

1 comment:

Urdu Talk said...

Dear Soofi,
I can understand your frustration. I am a Pakistani American, running a comminity based non for profit broadcasting network for South Asians. Recently we went global through streaming(www.abnchicago.org). To our surprise our Sunday Talk Show was blocked by the controlling authority in Pakistan. as the poet says
Aa Andaleeb mil key karen Ah wa Zarian
Tu hai gul pukar mein chilaoon hai dil
Mujahid Ghazi, Chicago.