Friday 28 December 2012

YouTube to be Unblocked in Pakistan

December 28th 2012: Just as the clock ticked towards the 101st day that video sharing site YouTube was blocked in Pakistan, Interior Minister Rehman Malik tweeted on Friday evening that a decision has been taken to unblock the site in “24 hours”. “I chaired a high level meeting with all stakeholders on the Youtube. Good job by PTA to block anti iIslamic material! Pl expect Youtube unblocked in 24hrs” The move comes almost a month after the minister, whose ministry is not linked to either the Ministry of Information Technology, nor the blocking agency Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), formed a committee to look into ways how the video sharing site could be unblocked while not in conflict with court orders on blasphemous material. Malik has maintained on numerous occasions that any decision to unblock the site would be taken by the Cabinet, where it was decided to block the site in the first place.

His tweet indicates that the government, after failing to convince Google, or YouTube, has managed to put in place individual blocks on urls for the video in a work around to reopen the site. The site had been blocked on September 17, 2012 by the Cabinet in the immediate aftermath of mass riots in Pakistan reacting to a clip from an amateurishly produced sacrilegious film. The film had sparked violent riots across the Muslim world after a translated version was aired on Egyptian television. The violence saw American embassy in Cairo and in Libya attacked. Following the violence, YouTube had been requested by a number of countries to either block the film in their countries or to completely remove it from YouTube servers.

While YouTube, and its parent company Google Inc explicitly refused to comply with the latter of the demands, it did endeavour to block access to the content in India, Malaysia, Indonesia after requests were received from those governments. Google though unilaterally blocked access to the videos in Egypt and Libya. It took a threat to be blocked and a court order in Brazil for the service to block access to the specific videos. However, Google did not comply with requests from the Pakistan government, which then proceeded to block the website completely. In addition to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sudan blocked access to the video sharing site after it refused to remove the video or block access to it.

Google had also twice refused requests by the White House to remove the video claiming the video did not violate its community rules and thus there was no reason to remove the video. Malik added that those who had been pressing him to unblock the site should be happy now. “There was a great demand to unblock Youtube from all sections of society especially fellow tweeps. Expect the notification today! Hope you are all happy now” Not really a silver lining However, the news of the video sharing site being unblocked comes with an ominous cloud over it. In a subsequent tweet, Malik let in on a more disturbing trend: “PTA is finalising negotiations for acquiring a powerful firewall software to totally block pornographic and blasphemous material.” Rumours have been rife that the PTA has been trying to acquire a firewall which can block websites at a very high rate.

Sunday 23 December 2012

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Kashmir Human Rights Violations Discussion held at Birmingham Council House

Councillor Waseem Zaffar (Birmingham & Thub Jaghir Dadyal) hosted a discussion on human rights violations in Kashmir in the Birmingham Council House on 10/12/12 to mark International Human Rights Day.

Noman Kamal Defends His Political Activities

Politics, 12th December 2012
: Noman Kamal has been accused of not being loyal to his party PML-N after he has been working closely with Overseas Minister Wajid ur Rehman (PPP) to encourage Overseas Kashmiri's to share their concerns and engage in dialogue with the Overseas Minister. Noman Kamal defended his stance by arguing that in politics you have to work with everyone to help the people. He said that you cannot sit at home and give statements, you have to come out and meet people and listen to them and do your best to solve their problems. If you work with other parties to serve your people then there is nothing wrong with that. Raja Noman Kamal is known for challenging the status quo and thinking of new ways to succeed in politics. In the 2011 Dadyal Elections, he went against the idea of Baradri-ism by leaving his party and joining Chaudhary Masood Khalid. This kind of attitude and approach to politics was welcomed in particular by the young generation amongst whom Noman's popularity is increasing by the day.

Accident in Dadyal on 12/12/12

Accident in Dadyal Bazaar on 12/12/12, head on collision between two motorbikes, outside Markazi Masjid (chowk waali) on the main road in the Bazaar. Nobody was injured in the incident alhumdolillah.

Monday 10 December 2012

Prisoners in AJK to be given Tech Training

MIRPUR: Prisoners will be given professional technical training in different disciplines to make them useful citizens after completion of their sentences. AJK prisons departments are proposing a broad-based plan, the criminals detained in prisons would be given training in computer education, electricity, welding, carpet manufacturing, tailoring and other technical fields. The sources said the plan was being inked to bring the standard of all prisons in AJK to international standard. Latest equipment including mobile control device and metal detectors are being installed in the jails to ensure fool-proof security, they added.

Pakistan PM Pervaiz Ashraf to hold Public Rally in Bagh AJK

Prime Minister of Pakistan Raja Pervaiz Ashraf will address a public rally in Bagh Azad Kashmir on December 15th 2012 and will lay the foundation stone of Poonch Medical College Rawalakot and Information Technology University in Rawalakot. The Pakistani Premier said it while talking to President AJ&K Sardar Yaqoob Khab and AJ&K Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed who called on him here in Prime Minister House on Thursday. The detailed meeting continued for an hour. The current scenario of Kashmir issue, development and prosperity of the state of AJ&K and Prime Minister Ashraf’s visit to Kashmir were brought under discussion in the meeting. The Pakistani Premier assured the AJ&K leadership that 20 billion bail-out package would be released before his schedule visit on December 15 this month. He also extended direction to the concerned authorities regarding the construction of International Airport at Mirpur and asked them to complete the planning and designing of the said projects at earliest possible so that this project could be started soon. He also assured AJ&K leaders that 10 million rupee announced by former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani for Kashmir Press club Mirpur would be provided very soon. Reiterating the stance of the government of Pakistan PM Ashraf observed that his government would continue supporting the just cause of Kashmiris in consonance with the aspirations of the people of the state and resolutions passed by United States. “Kashmir is the core issue and the way president Zardari, in his recent address to United Nations, stated and advocated the Kashmiris’ voice was the true representation of our will and policy”, he added. He stated that his government would never back out of the principle stance on Kashmir. The Prime Minister lauded the sacrifices of Kashmiris for Pakistan and especially of those who rendered everything for Mangla Upraising for the better future of Pakistan. He also assured that 110 Km road from Athmaqam to Taobutt would be ensured at any cost.

Raja Wajid ur Rehman holds Community Meeting in Coventry

Overseas Minister AJK, Raja Wajid ur Rehman held a meeting in Coventry on Sunday 9th December 2012. Various issues were discussed and highlighted by the local Kashmiri community. Venue: Zeenat Kebabish.

Monday 3 December 2012

Sunday 2 December 2012

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