ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday said the government would lift a ban on YouTube within 24 hours, over three months after the website was blocked so that people could not access clips from an anti-Islam film, reported a private TV channel.

Malik announced the government’s plan to lift the ban on YouTube and Twitter on Friday night. “I chaired a high-level meeting with all stakeholders on the YouTube. (Good) job by PTA (to) block anti-Islamic material! (Please expect YouTube) unblocked in 24 hrs,” he said in a tweet.

He acknowledged in another tweet that there was a “great demand to unblock (YouTube) from all sections of society”, especially users of Twitter. “Expect the notification today! Hope u r all happy now,” he said.

“PTA is finalizing negotiations for acquiring powerful firewall softwatre to totally block pornographic and blasphemous material,” he said. Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had in mid-September directed authorities to block YouTube for hosting ‘blasphemous material’, including clips from the movie ‘Innocence of Muslims’.

The film triggered violent protests by right wing groups across Pakistan and the government itself sanctioned a day of protests on September 21, which was observed as ‘Love the Prophet Day’.

Twenty-three people were killed and property worth billions of rupees was destroyed during these protests.