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YouTube Launches Site for Pakistan

FILE - A reflection of YouTube's logo is seen in a person's eye.

YouTube says it has launched a local version for Pakistan.

From now on, users in Pakistan will be directed to an Urdu-language version of the YouTube video sharing website at, which will feature videos trending in the country.

"We aim to provide an even more tailored YouTube experience by launching versions that are optimized for Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. We also hope that this will pave the way for the work of local creators, personalities, and musicians to shine on the world's largest and most vibrant video community," said a Google spokesman, cited by Dawn newspaper. Google owns YouTube.

The move is seen as a possible first step toward an end to Pakistan's ban on YouTube. The ban has been in effect since 2012, when the company did not remove what Pakistani authorities said was a blasphemous film. The movie, "Innocence of Muslims," depicted the Prophet Muhammad in a derogatory way.

The movie sparked violent protests around the globe.

YouTube said it will continue to track government requests to remove content.

Pakistan has blocked sites before. In 2010, Pakistan shut down Facebook for two weeks, saying the social media website contained what Pakistani authorities said was blasphemous content.