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YouTube accessible in Pakistan following technical issues in blockage

KARACHI: Biggest video site in the world, YouTube , has been accessible in Pakistan after some technical fault in the blockage.

The site is only accessible in a few areas of Karachi since Thursday while in rest of the country it is still un accessible.

The Pakistani government had blocked the video-sharing website in September, 2012 after the former’s request to block blasphemous video ‘Innocence of Muslims’ for Pakistani viewers was turned down.

However, the website was accessible on the platform of at least three different ISPs, according to internet consumers surveyed, till the filing of this report.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the telecom sector’s regulatory body, confirmed that YouTube is officially banned in the country and there was no change in the government’s stance on it.

The reasons for the sudden restoration of YouTube remain unclear. According to one account, the site was accessible because one of the four submarine cables that connect the country with the internet is under maintenance. As a result, its traffic has been diverted to Egypt where the website is accessible thus some consumers in Karachi – the landing point for that cable – are able to access the website.

However, an official from Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan (ISPAK) disagreed with the first account on technical grounds. YouTube is blocked in Pakistan both at the gateway and retail levels thus, it is technically not possible to view it even if traffic is routed to a different country.

The ISPAK official also confirmed reports that some operators have unblocked the website in Karachi. “The website is still blocked in the rest of the country — even in Karachi it is available only partially,” he added.