Pakistan government unblocks Twitter

Micro-blogging website Twitter has been restored in Pakistan on Sunday night, after an almost day long ban.

Sources have confirmed that Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik has spoken to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who ordered concerned authorities to unblock the site.

Micro-blogging website Twitter had been temporarily banned across Pakistan on Sunday by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Express News correspondent Suhail Chaudhry had reported that the access to Twitter was blocked due to an ongoing “competition” of Prophet Muhammad’s caricatures…

Earlier, PTA Chairman Dr Mohammad Yaseen said the regulator was asked by the Ministry of Information and Technology to block the website in the country…

Pakistan’s government had asked Twitter to stop a discussion on Prophet Muhammad, which was considered derogatory, Yaseen said, adding that “Twitter refused our request…”

The PTA blocked the access to Twitter directly from the upstream links without notifying the ISPs, said Wahajuz Siraj, convener for Internet Services Providers Association of Pakistan (ISPAK).

Here’s where the tough questions come in – at least if you can get your head beyond the definitions of nationality. On one hand, of course, any nation has the right to manage communications as they see fit. That’s modified by international conventions and protocols – most of which are designed for throughput and don’t involve questions of content. The basic definitions of sovereignty supersede ideology.

You’d think.

But, then, we’ve decided the United States has the most advanced system of governance in the world – even though our own government tries their best to renege on the concepts all the time – for our own good, you understand. Because of our political ego, we presume we have the right to tell everyone else to do what we say they should do – and they should realize we’re right. Guess what? Everyone else also feels they have a right to come to their own conclusions.

I believe there isn’t a more productive and honest system than democracy as most of us understand it. That doesn’t include the crap filters in Congress, the CIA, NSA or the White House who think they can make our decisions for us. Well, the same right holds true for foreign governments.

The whole dialectic gets straightened out long-term in the marketplace of commerce as well as the marketplace of ideas. That’s why I’m confident in democracy, in free expression, in the freedoms that science offers through testing and re-evaluation and growth instead of tight little ideologies and religions.

Things change. Never enough for this week’s flavor of anarchy. But, they change.

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