PTA bans online game PUBG temporarily

By: News Desk      Published: 06:45 PM, 1 Jul, 2020
PTA bans online game PUBG temporarily

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Wednesday temporarily banned the online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, popularly known as PUBG.

The move came after three children committed suicide in Lahore in a week due to the online game.

According to a PTA spokesperson, the matter was still under discussion whether to ban the game permanently or not, therefore the PTA has banned the game only temporarily.

He said the final decision will be taken on banning PUBG after consultation with all quarters.

Earlier, Punjab Police have also written to the PTA for banning the online game due to its adverse effects on the youth.

Last month, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to decide if the popular online game PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) should be banned in Pakistan.

A division bench of the LHC headed by Justice Atir Mahmood heard a petition calling for a ban on PUBG. Petitioner Faizan Maqsood pleaded the online game was leaving a negative impact on children and fuelling violent tendencies in them.

He said that PUBG had left a negative impact on the decision-making ability of children and urged the court to order removal of the online game from Play Store app. The court after hearing the arguments directed the PTA to decide the matter within six weeks.

Pakistan would not be the first country to ban the online game if the PTA decides in favour of the petitioner. In July 2019, Jordan banned the popular but brutal online game Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, citing its “negative effects” on the kingdom’s citizens.

Often likened to the book and film series “The Hunger Games”, PUBG pits marooned characters against each another in a virtual fight to the death, and has become one of the world’s most popular mobile games.

An official in Jordan’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority warned the game “had negative effects on its users, which led to its being officially blocked”. The move follows similar bans in Iraq, Nepal, the Indian state of Gujarat and the Indonesian province of Aceh.