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The Great YouTube Escapade

December 29, 2012

Welcome back to me. Yay.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about a most pressing matter. As anyone with access to the internet in Pakistan must be aware today was a monumental day in Pakistan’s brief yet thoroughly exciting cyber history. Interior Minister Rehman Malik finally came through on a month old promise and managed to reverse the ban on YouTube. Much rejoicing was had.

In the time since the video clip sharing website was returned to the rose tinted, soft-lit reality of legality, Facebook updates across the nation have notified a previously bereft of entertainment nation of the return of the prodigal website. Like I said, much rejoicing.

However, since this is Pakistan and Stealing Christmas And Similar Joyous Events is a national pastime, the various Grinches that form our journalistic corps decided to come out to play. Now, none of us wanted them to play. In fact, some of them I very much wish would never play anything ever again and would retire to a permanent state of aitekaaf (a win-win situation if there ever was any; they top up their Sawaab accounts and I don’t have to deal with their poisonous existence. Ever.)

Anyhow, Ansar Abbasi (that vile, repulsive little man) is the greatest genius of our times. The man figured out that if you search for something on the internet, you run the risk of actually finding it! SHOCK HORROR!! CALL THE MURDER POLICE!!! Upon discovering that searching for something does in fact yield search results, Ansar Abbasi notified Geo News (a vile, repulsive little channel) that objectionable materials are still available on YouTube. We yawned in shock!

Ansar Abbasi is a man of many talents and of outsize reputation. It had barely been a moment since he proclaimed the awfulness of YouTube, that our Prime Minister sprung into action. A little primer on the PM himself – this is the man that was entrusted with the Premiership under the assumption that he was directly in the crosshairs of the Supreme Court at the height of the Swiss Letter Affair (a ridiculously overwrought affair that I hope most of you aren’t aware of [for your own sanity]). He had performed so abysmally as the Minister of Water and Power and as a representative of his constituency that it was widely believed that he’d lose re-election come May 2013.

NOW. Keeping in mind the fact that this Prime Minister has little to no popular support, let’s observe the days events. Once Ansar Abbasi had notified the world that the video did in fact still exist somewhere in the interwebs, the Prime Minister clearly thought that our nation of six year olds should not be allowed to make any decisions for itself. He ordered the re-banning of YouTube. And so it was.

A confluence of idiocy of the sort that we see on a regular basis in Pakistan has ruled again. Courts that have somehow come to believe that they represent the will of the people, create orders that limit our agency in one wave of their robe. Journalists who have inflated their sense of self to the point where they no longer recognize themselves, inform us of how we ought to behave in our private lives. A civilian government that proclaims itself to be secular bends to the will of every right wing demand at the expense of those that are ideologically aligned with them.

Unfortunately, none of this is new to us. Even worse, this is far from the last time something like this will happen to us.

ADDENDUM: Geo News is proudly proclaiming its role in getting YouTube banned again. As is fully evident to anyone with a semblance of intelligence, this is NOT something to be proud of. In fact, it’s something that an outlet dedicated to bringing us INFORMATION should be deeply ashamed of. I wish nothing but ill to the power brokers at the Jang Group for their short sighted self aggrandizement. Please feel free to complain to the following people that man Geo’s complaints cell: khurram.rashid@geo.tv; rafat.ullah@geo.tv; maryam.abbasi@geo.tv. <33

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Ardeshir Jehangir Viccaji. permalink
    December 29, 2012 2:34 pm

    BAN THE BAN THE BAN THE BANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN and so ONNNNNNNNNNNNN.

  2. December 29, 2012 3:33 pm

    I was about to comment on the professionalism of Raja Rental, then I realized jokers are meant to be that way. Really frustrating moments of information ban and playing with the temper of nation.

  3. December 29, 2012 5:33 pm

    lol @ ‘bends to the will of every right wing demand’.
    um…what!?
    you DO realize many more pressing demands of this ‘right wing’ are conveniently ignored by your secular government. (lets think…how about breaking free of the puppet strings of US?oh wait…it involves dollars for the army and govt. so no)

    this is just scraps to keep the average joe (who happens to NOT be a liberal extremist) in check. nothing else. the government is filled with secular extremists.

    now obviously liberal extremists do feel embarrassed (yeah i had a look at your tweets on right corner). the government yielded to those mullahs (oh did i say Mullahs? I meant vile, repulsive little men) and thats SO embarrassing in front of the ideal liberal extremists in the non-Muslim world no?. they must all be tutting their disapproval of how this secular country still gives a damn about blasphemy and hasn’t embraced their ‘freedom’ of speech (read restricted freedom disguised as absolute freedom) yet.

    dhobi ka kutta
    na ghar ka na ghaat ka

    • Muhammad permalink
      December 30, 2012 1:01 am

      It is hardly liberal “extremism” to believe that a whole website which facilitates education and enables exchange of ideas — and access to which enables Pakistanis to participate in life in the 21st century — should not be banned due to the presence of an amateur video made by an attention-seeking idiot. Wanting Pakistan not to be in a position where any twelve-year old with a modem can shut down its citizens’ access to technology hardly qualifies as extreme.

      And perhaps you can try to get it into that little brain of yours that Pakistani liberals actually believe in freedoms and civil liberties because we care about Pakistan and wish to see it a happy and prosperous country that stops wasting time prosecuting blasphemy and shutting itself off from the world and does something to actually improve its citizens’ quality of life?

  4. December 29, 2012 6:59 pm

    What is surprising is that Ansar Abbasi rushes to the site first thing and starts looking for that blasphemous film. Isn’t that blasphemy in itself? And the the Prime Minister follows what Mr. Abbasi says and not his minister who promised to open up You Tube days back. To top it all the Jang group feels pride in claiming credit for the ban! Reminded of Ibn Insha who said “Mujhe ghussa is baat par nahi aata ke Pakistan mein parhe likhe log bhi bawaseer ka ilag taweez gandon se karte hain. Ghussa is baat par aata hai ke woh theek bhi ho jaata hain.”

  5. samarp permalink
    December 29, 2012 8:19 pm

    ban chuds.

Trackbacks

  1. Pakistan Lifts, Then Reinstates YouTube Ban - NYTimes.com
  2. The Lede Blog: Pakistan Lifts, Then Reinstates YouTube Ban
  3. YouTube Blocked, Unblocked and Blocked Again in Pakistan · Global Voices
  4. The Lede Blog: Pakistan Lifts, Then Reinstates, YouTube Ban
  5. Pakistan Lifts, Then Reinstates, YouTube Ban

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