STAFF REPORT LHR: In the wake of the ban on YouTube in Pakistan over the anti-Islam US film, the Lahore University of Management Sciences Initiative on Internet and Society (IIS) is offering a platform to understand the internet and its impacts on the society.

“There has been no academic research on what the internet has impact in Pakistan,” says Kiran Nazish, a faculty member of LUMS said.

According to her, the IIS project is not only the first of its type in Pakistan but also in South Asia. “Its not an invention but the idea is relatively new, especially in this part of the world,” she says. She says the IIS aims at sharing the conclusions with public. “People interested in internet need a platform to discuss and understand its potential. Thats what we hope to offer,” says Nazish.

The IIS has so far had four roundtables and a lecture. A panel discussion is scheduled for next month. The discussion platforms have so far included officials from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, journalists, internet activists and Azhar Sidique, a lawyer who had petitioned for banning the Facebook.

She added that there was room to explore internet regulation in the country.

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