Siasat.PK, a political forum, has been shut down by the government according to an update posted on the Facebook page of the website.
Siasat.PK admins said that they were not warned of anything prior to the taking down of the website and a notice was received from the hosting company through an email according to which hosting company was asked to shut down the website immediately.
Siasat.PK said that Nexus, an Islamabad based hosting company that is registart for siasat.pk, has been asked to take the website offline and that their DNS records have been removed after which website is not accessible for anyone.
This is the grab of the email that siasat.pk received from its hosting company:
Previously government used to ban the IP address through ISPs to block a website, however, in this situation when website is hosted in Pakistan, they have taken it down altogether.
Adeel, who manages Siasat.PK, tweeted this a while ago:
siasat.pk is down is because our name servers were suspiciously removed from Nexus.pk – Just spoke to them and they have no idea who did it
— Adeel Habib (@adeel786) September 11, 2015
We have checked with PTA, the body that governs internet and websites and any blockade or shut down orders are supposed to be issued by them, said that no such action has been taken by the authority.
On other hands, FIA is saying that any such orders are issued by PTA.
We are trying to reach out to more authorities and sources to find out the reason for the shut down.
Adeel, who manages and maintains Siasat.PK, had revealed the threats he had received from higher authorities. In a forum post he mentioned that authorities have threatened him about shutting down the website with-in five minutes.
Check below the forum post from Adeel from April 2015:
I just spoke with Adeel and he’s clueless about what has happened or who has ordered the shut down. Adeel had bought this .PK domain from Nexus, and they have removed the DNS without clarifying anything to him and control to his account with nexus has been revoked.
Adeel told me that there hadn’t been any threats or issues from the government or from anyone during past couple of months and this forced shut down came to him as a surprise.
Adeel says that he has web-server hosted somewhere else (and not with nexus) and they are trying to bring the website back with siasat.net as a temporary solution for time being.
This is a developing story and will be updated as we get more information.
Siasat.PK is back online through another domain Siasat.net. This is a back-up domain that is registered outside country and seemingly government won’t be able to take it down.
This is a temporary solution that Siasat.PK has adopted for time being, however, after several hours of shut-down there’s no clear evidence available on who directed the shut down of Siasat.PK and for what reasons.
This whole episode raises several serious questions, not only about internet censorship but also on the reliability of .PK domains and how government wants to govern the .PK registry.
We have already received countless queries from worried webmasters running on .PK registry demanding an immediate resolution of the situation.