Inter-Ministerial Committee That Blocks Websites, is Restrained by IHC from Functioning

Inter-Ministerial Committee that decides if a website should be accessed or blocked in Pakistan has been put on hold by Islamabad High Court in response to a petition filed by Bolo Bhi.

For those who don’t know, its not Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) or Ministry of IT and Telecom (MoIT) that decides to block a website, instead there is this Inter-Ministerial Committee that does the job. This committee forwards its decision to MoIT for execution and PTA just makes sure that orders are executed in timely and orderly manner.

So if you are asking us technically, YouTube isn’t banned by PTA, instead this inter-ministerial committee is responsible and PTA is just the executioner.

Now if you are planning to ask me that why did I address PTA the other day when I was maintained that YouTube ban had become meaningless and asked PTA to either unban the website or ensure cent percent blockade, then it was for very reason that Islamabad High Court today decided to issue a restraining order against this committee, and here are reasons:

  • No one knows where this inter-ministerial committee sits,
  • Who are the members,
  • On what merit these members are chosen,
  • How do they work,
  • What’s is its postal/email address,
  • How do they evaluate the blockade of websites?
  • Where is the list of blocked website and why were they blocked?
  • How to get a website unblocked?

This is exactly why we addressed PTA and not a ghost Committee. Now have a look at the petition seeking hold on this committee, and it said:

Petition contended that the IMCEW was unconstitutional. The petitioner through its counsel adopted before the court that IMCEW was constituted through an executive order in 2006 and since then it had been issuing orders to take down contents.

Committee is prone to political hijacking and pressure and had been used to personal and political ends to stem ‘undesirable’ and dissenting opinion.

This committee has become a prime example of arbitrary and ad hoc executive action and abuse of power.

The petition requested the court to declare the IMCEW as illegal and contrary to the Telecom Act and Rules of Business 1973.

Committee, as per directions from the court, is now on hold to block any further website till the hearing of the petition.

Court has asked Secretary ministry of information technology, IMCEW and the Chairman PTA for their comments.

You may also want to read following, where we had discussed exactly the same questions:

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Baronet

    CHutsspAAAA laga rakha hai politicians ne………..

    BC sab band kardo……

  • Saad R.

    Good news, seems like the logical way to end internet censorship in Pakistan.

  • Ghost Employee

    Not mere these committies but all works of ministry of IT is based on ghost employees.Ghost employees are functioning illegally to protect the interests of secret players and to hijack the real issues.They are highly paid hijackers and are honored to designate on fake projects. As a result of this, they are given hidden benefits which can not be questioned.I witness a simple BA pass is working on a very decent post and is highly paid . This is in addition to their TA/DA and other m onthly bonuses which are matter of routine . Salary of 50thousand with perks and hidden benefits with lot of protocol and oper ki kamai is something worth paying attention.s if you are brother in law of Member_____ or nefew of PS to ______, brother of Director_______or son of some Joint Secretary or any relative of some big gun then you can find some good place in IT ministry as GHOST EMPLOYEE

    • ads

      yes you are right bz i saw that person in PTV he was even don’t know how to install windows xp but his rank was to higher bz his relatives were MPA and the office boy whom was worked there knew windows to autocad to animation with good database knowledge now he is working in ksa on high rank but he was used as office boy

  • Guest147

    This is just unfair. The list should easily be available for everyone. There are websites inaccessible on my DSL, and I believe some of them are blocked by PTCL on its own to save its bandwidth.
    one example is “isohunt.to” and we don’t know whether it’s blocked by this so-called IMC or by operator itself. That’s why we need the list and transparency in blocking method.

    I don’t have any objection if a site is be blocked by some authentic entity like High Court or Supreme Court. but by a ghost authority? I certainly have.

    Also to Author,
    PTCL is nowadays throttling streaming websites speed on random order to save its bandwidth, and screw the end-users.
    I’ve a list of such websites where I get only 10% to 20% of my DSL speed most of the time, and to ensure that the website is not down an this is PTCL strategy, I also double check them with VPN.

    please address this in an article.

    • MaaZ
      • Shahid Saleem

        Ok, what is your alternative to pastebin?

        There isn’t one. Yes there are sites which let you do the same thing, BUT the CONTENT on pastebin is not on other sites. So you need pastebin.

        Really, your argument only works if all torrent sites have the same content. But they do not. Private trackers usually have better seeded and sometimes obsscure content that you cannot find on public sites.

    • Shahid Saleem

      i suggest you tweet to @ptclcares and ask them to look into it. if it is blocked by them by accident they will open it. i know from persional experience that the person behind that account usually responds within 24 hours (sometimes within 2).

      if you know for a fact that the site works with other isps (like qubee, witribe), be sure to mention that. that will tell you it is not PTA block.

      i know how frustrating it is for some site you use to be blocked, when 100s of similar sites are open. there is no explanation most of the time, except that whatever watchlist or service they use has that site listed and not others, and they just have to manually updated it by removing it.

  • Usman

    I have never faced any bad experience while using Ufone. Much better than other networks.