Man in Pakistan shows the Wikipedia logo: The encyclopedia is now blocked
Photo: SHAHZAIB AKBER/EPA
Pakistan's media regulator has confirmed that it has blocked Wikipedia for alleged "blasphemous content."
Since Friday, users in Pakistan have not been able to access the content of the online encyclopedia.
The authority justified its decision with the fact that the operator "did not respond to our repeated correspondence to remove the blasphemous content and did not meet the deadline," a spokesman for the telecommunications authority PTA told the AFP news agency on Saturday.
The authority had previously given Wikipedia an ultimatum until Friday evening and restricted access to the website for 48 hours until it expired.
Until then, the platform has time to remove the relevant content, it said.
The authority did not explain what the specific content was.
Wikipedia has "removed some of the material, but not all," said the PTA spokesman.
The website will "remain blocked until all the material in question has been removed."
The Wikimedia Foundation -- the non-profit foundation that manages Wikipedia -- responded by saying the lockdown denies "the fifth most populous country in the world access to the largest free repository of knowledge."
Wikipedia registers 55 million page views from the country per month, most of them in the English edition.
"If this continues, everyone will also be denied access to Pakistan's knowledge, history and culture," it said in a statement.
The knowledge platform had previously faced restrictions on some of its pages.
Pakistani authorities have repeatedly blocked online media in recent years - including the video platform YouTube because of a film about the Prophet Mohammed that was perceived as Islamophobic, which had triggered protests in several countries.
Wikipedia also has problems with the authorities in other countries.
The foundation is currently in a legal dispute with the Russian media regulator over the portrayal of the war of aggression against Ukraine.