The Facebook page of a popular rock band that was banned by the social media website on government’s request is now accessible to internet users in Pakistan. Rock band “Laal” (Red), which was set up by a group of progressive musicians in 2007, said in a post, “We won. Yes it’s true. We were banned. We fought back. And we won. We want to thank all our supporters who supported us on social media and the mainstream media. This was your victory. Today progressives proved their strength through their unity. They forced the authorities to retreat from the ban. This may be a very small victory in relation to all the problems that Pakistan faces today. But a victory nonetheless,” it said in the post on its Facebook page.
The band promised to continue working against the ban on other progressive pages that continue to suffer from censorship and struggle for a progressive Pakistan. The group also promised to celebrate the victory.
“Lets celebrate Laal’s victory against internet censorship with a revolutionary rock song. On 15th June we will be performing at village in Okara for the Anjuman Muzareen, commemorating the life and struggle of Rashid Rahman who was martyred recently in Multan for standing up for the rule of law and humans rights,” it said.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) officials had asked Facebook to censor some accounts which they consider as blasphemous or spreading hatred. Laal’s lead member Taimur Rehman had told the media that they were banned. Activists in Pakistan had criticised the unilateral decision of Facebook and had asked for lifting of the censorship. Pakistan frequently bans social websites. YouTube was banned in 2012 and still remains out of access.