YouTube Traffic from Pakistan is Picking Up As the Ban Enters its Fourth Year!

Last week Pakistan entered into fourth year of YouTube ban in the country as the access to video sharing website was blocked on September 17th, 2012 for hosting a video that had irked Muslim world.

YouTube website is officially banned in the country for last three years now and no one is allowed to use it officially. However, access to the website is possible for a portion of Pakistani users — directly and without any hacks — and any access to website isn’t considered a offense or no one was penalized during past three years for accessing YouTube website.

As hinted above, majority of Pakistani users are able to access the websites either without any hack or by just making small change in DNS servers and that’s all what is usually required to access the website.

Estimates suggest that more than 60% Pakistani internet users access YouTube videos through various means

Latest traffic data for YouTube that originates from Pakistan suggests that more than 25% of Pakistanis now access YouTube — without any proxy tools — when compared traffic during pre-ban period from June 2012.

This data excludes any numbers that access YouTube through proxy websites, VPNs or third-party replica websites that enables access to YouTube through APIs. If these numbers come into account then estimates suggest that more than 60% Pakistani internet users access YouTube videos through various means.

Year 2015 saw a significant growth in YouTube traffic from Pakistan which is consistently on the rise.

Let’s have a look at YouTube traffic data:


Source: Google Transparency Report

Industry sources say that recent increase in YouTube traffic from Pakistan is mainly because of increase in mobile broadband subscribers (3G and 4G users) as majority of telcos aren’t blocking YouTube and access to the website on mobile phones — especially through YouTube’s mobile apps — isn’t blocked.

Till December 2014, traffic to YouTube from Pakistan stood at around 5-7% as compared to July 2012. However, since then, i.e. from start of 2015, traffic has picked up and currently around 25% users access YouTube as compared to July 2012 data.

Industry sources suggest that majority of ISPs have relaxed the YouTube ban and they have unofficially or rather secretly allowed the access to YouTube website as seemingly no one complains or objects if YouTube is found accessible on their networks.

Similarly, some of the brands have started using YouTube for their official communication as people don’t bother much about this and they have somewhat accepted the availability of YouTube.

Here are couple of examples with active YouTube channels of two leading TV channels:


Recent increase in YouTube traffic from Pakistan is mainly because of increase in 3G users as majority of telcos aren’t blocking YouTube

PTCL, largest landline broadband provider, is however still stagnant on the matter as their deal with Daily Motion — a YouTube rival in Pakistan — is going fine. A source in PTCL recently told me that Daily Motion’s 27% global traffic comes through PTCL network, which gives us a good idea of how critical is the deal for both the players.

Despite all this and after three years of ban, Ministry of IT or Government isn’t moved and they are apparently no way near to lifting the ban from YouTube. We have discussed the reasons before, but just to recall you, I am re-producing my thoughts here:

  • Since ban was imposed on Supreme Court’s directives, no one else can lift the ban.
  • Fearing public reaction, Government is in no position to take a stand for YouTube and peruse the case in SC for getting the YouTube unbanned while blasphemous videos are still accessible.
  • MoIT’s discussions with Google for localizing YouTube haven’t been successful as Google will never afford to get registered in Pakistan and then get trialed in Pakistani courts for a video that is uploaded on the website.
  • We have heard that they MoIT is changing the law to satisfy Google and assuring them that they won’t be troubled after localizing YouTube but its been discussed for years now with no concrete outcome.

All in all, YouTube ban in Pakistan is going to stay but masses have started accessing it. Do let us know if you access YouTube or not:

For Further Reading: Dear PTA, Ban on YouTube in Pakistan Has Become Meaningless!

Tech and telecom reporter with over 15 years of experience, he works as founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • Please have pity on us who use YouTube solely for accessing educational lectures! Don’t print such articles that give our gov’t the reasons & means to block access completely! I don’t care for the reasons why the website was blocked. I only am aware that I use the service solely for educational material that I unfortunately don’t get on the alternates services that are currently available! Dear govt whatever u try u cannot stop us from using the service!

    • Thanks to government. Allah karey youtube per se ban kabhi nahi hatey.

      Without youtube every thing is going fine students passing out and getting jobs.

      • good reply khya youtube sa pehla log exam ma marks nahi leta thay …..lame excuse from time pass people . aur khya Einstein youtube sa parhi kerta tha

        • People were also doing great without cars and planes, why use them now? Heck, why use computers, people were also doing great and passing schools then?

          Exactly the kind of stupid response one would expect from people who don’t know better.

          • Waqas you are an idiot, youtube denied to remove blasphamous video thats why ban was imposed,no car/plane company was involved(lame example).
            This is very sensitive issue as we are muslim and those blasphamous videos could also create conflict situation in paskitan. So its better youtube should be remained blocked in Paksitan.

      • bhai aap to direct chalte hai youtube https:// wale method say or andriod par to dirct chalte hai aab problem kaya hai

      • you only gain knowledge from internet there is no way it will take it from you maybe it’s not the knowledge of how to get 100 marks in exam but it will give something that will come in use in future

    • It makes quite hard to learn eithout youtube. I could easily have found tutotials for programming on youtube but due to the ban, its become harder for me to find video tutorials.

      • Exactly, I want to learn programming as well and most of the sources leads me to video tutorials that are are published on youtube only.

      • Torrent is full of Programming Tutorials… don’t make lame excuses… Wake up… or make an Alternative Of YouTube although U r programmers…

        • it’s not a lame excuse.
          Learning advance programming requires community of programmers sharing their knowledge of modern technology and software globally. This type of modern community can only be found on youtube, unfortunately.

          You can always make video sharing platform but you can never make an alternative of that advance community available only on Youtube because of it’s worldwide popularity.

    • Bro its Simple, instead of asking to unblock YouTube. Ask YouTube to remove videos. Even Facebook is deleting that kind of page on reporting. its a damn serious matter. There is no way Government is unblocking YouTube else there will be no government. Its like Toheen-e-Risaalat Case. Choose carefully which side You r on.

      • Best comment so far. How can you all be blind to blasphemy? And guess what, try uploading a video on holocaust and see how swiftly YouTube will deny the ‘platform’. As for as educational videos, don’t tell me they can only be found on YouTube.

  • mearay khayal mein pta ko youtube k sath ab koe na koe deal kr lani chaheye 75 percent logh andriod phone use kartay ha or or andriod phone mein youtube aram sa chalti ha blkay ab to i phone mein b chalna shorow ho ghae ha

  • There are 2 major ISPs that operate their own underwater fiber cables; PTCL and Transworld. Transworld doesn’t block Youtube if you open an SSL connection by opening up instead of . Majority of the Telcos rely on Transworld for bandwidth. That’s why the Youtube app works (it uses https). Other ISPs relying on Transworld: Worldcall, Fiberlink.

  • how terrible for pakistani people to not have access to basic resources like you tube that they entire world has access to. You people will surely be left behind in the world if your government bans and censors basic information resources like this.

  • According to the above poll 83% of propakistani readers use youtube, all my friends and family also use youtube regularly(through vpns and phones), this ban has no real use, it just makes the experience for end users worse. Damn our goverment

  • To be honest this is total bullshit, what was the main objective of this ban? to stop blasphemous content from reaching us? This is the internet nothing is impossible now, people who want to see can still see it even with the ban. And its out there on the web whether we like it or not. Whats next ban the internet? because banning Youtube is no solution.
    My guess is this was just an excuse to get deals with other video sharing websites such as dailymotion, and countless others.

    • Majority of PTCL internet traffic 60% before the ban was youtube. So it made business sense for PTCL to stick to the block.

  • A humble request to PTA/Supreme Court’s Directives : Please remove the Ban on youtube as many of us want to use Youtube for educational purposes and this ban is causing a lot of trouble.

  • Lots is not available to Pakistanis, if we talk of internet services. And The things we have, we block them our selves. Then including the blockers, all of us are trying to use same services, but not officially, and through methods which ruin all the quality we get through direct access. Also this comes at cost of all the perks we will get, if youtube is officially allowed in Pakistan.

  • Just to add few words here,you can access youtube even on ptcl network by using android phones with kitkat operating system

  • As youngsters are getting more affected by the blocking of youtube. Gov’t should think again to unblock it as we are using proxies to get in so your blocking is useless for us. And what are you trying to show that you are fervent supporter of Islam and sharīʿah then 1st implement Islamic socio-economic and political laws in Pakistan instead of judeo-masonic laws which solely based on corruption both morally and physical corruption.

  • Talk about misplaced priorities. As is with the case with Paypal, Amazon, ebay etc. The Govt won’t let IT progress in Pakistan.

    Let’s ban Youtube which contains millions upon millions of videos that can help people learn, help students with their studies, help people earn money using adverts, etc.

    Let’s have a deal with Dailymotion where you can turn the age gate off and view porn to your hearts content.

    Propakistani should create a detailed article on how PTCL is deliberately not creating a filter to filter the video in question just so they can make money via Dailymotion and give promoted access to million of Pakistani’s to free porn.

  • Don’t Bother yourself asking government to lift ban on youtube. You can have other ways to access youtube if you want to. Just deal with it from now on.

  • In my opinion, ban on YouTube is just pathetic. If I pick a Pen & Paper and start writing something abusive about Amir Bhai, will he ban the use of Pen & Paper in the country????

    Ofcourse this is same sick mentality of those chawwal politicians who actually can’t do anything, but can ban things to make thing easy for them.
    1). Double sawari pe pabandi laga do k koi hamla na ho jaey.
    2). Cheeni mehangi ha to awaam ko Chaey peeni kam kar deni chanie!!!!

    Just Shameful for all of us that we’re living under the control of these sick maniacs.


  • How can you all be blind to blasphemy? And guess what, try uploading a video on holocaust and see how swiftly YouTube will deny the ‘platform’. As for as educational videos, don’t tell me they can only be found on YouTube.

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