Pakistan's Rehman Malik promises to unblock YouTube

Protesters clash with Pakistani police in September
Image caption Protests in Pakistan clashed with police in September over the film, The Innocence of Muslims

Pakistan's interior minister says he will restore access to video-sharing website Youtube in the coming hours, months after it was blocked.

Rehman Malik tweeted: "There was a great demand to unblock YouTube... expect the notification today!"

The site has been blocked to users in Pakistan since September when excerpts from an anti-Islamic film were posted, sparking protests across the world.

Pakistan blocked Youtube in 2008 and 2010 because of sacrilegious content.

It reimposed a ban on the site on 17 September following days of protests around the world after a translated version of an amateur film attacking the Prophet Mohammed was posted on an Egyptian website.

The original English language version was posted on Youtube in July.

Pakistan had reportedly asked Youtube and its parent company, Google, to block access to the video.

But Pakistani media reports say Google was unable to comply because it had no formal agreement with Pakistan.

Google had earlier said in a statement that the video was "clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube".

But the US firm added that "given the very difficult situation" it had restricted access to the video in numerous countries including India, Libya and Egypt, where the protests started.

There has been much discontent in Pakistan with the ban, which has also affected Android mobile phone services run by Google.

However, it is unclear whether Pakistanis will have unfettered access to YouTube when the site is unblocked.

Mr Malik also tweeted: "PTA [Pakistan Telecommunication Authority] is finalising negotiations for acquiring a powerful firewall software to totally block pornographic and blasphemous material."

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