Fawad Chaudhry, the Federal Minister for Science and Technology has made it clear that he is against all kinds of bans on applications as the country cannot afford the cost of taking such measures – he said this while referring to PUBG ban. He also said that such blanket bans not only affect the users but also greatly harms the tech industry. The minister has opposed the ban on popular battle royale game, PUBG Mobile. In response to a Twitter user’s request, the federal minister said: “Well I am against all kinds of general bans, such attitude is killing tech industry, we cannot afford such bans”.
“I hope concerned Minister Syed Amin ul Haque takes note of this ban and PTA is instructed not to encourage such bans as it hinders tech growth in the long run,” the minister further added.
Fans of the popular game have exhausted all options on social media and have campaigned for the lifting of the ban. They have sought the attention of PTA, Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhry, and other notable names to resolve the matter and remove the ban on the game ‘PUBG’.
Pakistan on 1st July 2020 temporarily banned the hugely popular online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) after receiving complaints it was addictive and following media reports linking the brutal, multiplayer shoot ’em up to suicide.
Well I against all kinds of general bans, such attitude is killing tech industry we cannot afford such bans, I hope concerned minister @SyedAminulHaque ll take note of this ban and PTA ll be instructed not to encourage such bans as it hinders tech growth in the long run https://t.co/GiEcFpbzDN
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) July 19, 2020
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said it had received “numerous” complaints from people saying the game has a “serious negative impact on (the) physical and psychological health of the children” who play it. Fawad Chaudhry’s tweet on PUBG ban came after almost 20 days since the restrictions were first imposed.
Pakistan bans PUBG after numerous complaints
“The PTA has received numerous complaints against PUBG wherein it is stated that the game is addictive, wastage of time and poses serious negative impact on physical and psychological health of the children,” a statement of the authority said.
The PTA had said it had suspended internet access to the game pending a high court hearing on July 9. However, until today the ban hasn’t been lifted.
The country’s top telecommunication authority also decided to solicit views of the public with reference to the said online game. “In this regard public is encouraged to provide feedback through firstname.lastname@example.org by July 10, 2020,” it further said.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) had also directed PTA to look into the issue and decide the matter after hearing the complainants. In this regard, a hearing was conducted on July 9, 2020.
It was reported last month that police in Lahore had recommended a ban after a teenaged player killed himself.
The newspaper said police believe the 16-year-old boy committed suicide after he failed to accomplish a mission.
Pakistan bans PUBG after suicide of teenager
Last month, a 10th-grade student had committed suicide in Lahore’s Gulshan-e-Abbass Phase-II. The boy was found hanging in his room. The police also spotted a smartphone beside the body with the PUBG game app running on it.
“We found his mobile phone on the bed with the PUBG game on at that time near his body. We immediately called the Punjab Forensic Science Agency for further investigation into the incident,” a media agency quoted Saddar Division SP Operations Ghazanfar Syed as saying.
His parents also confirmed to the police that they had stopped the boy for playing the game.
After the incident, a letter written to the Punjab inspector general of police (IGP) sought a ban on the popular online game.
The letter was penned by SSP Liaqat Ali Malik on the instructions of CCPO Zulfiqar Hameed. It mentioned that the online video game has devastating impacts on the mental health of the youth and two incidents of suicide have been reported in the city.
It stated that excessive violence triggers aggressive behaviour among the youth and they become addicted to the game. The CCPO said the game should be banned and an awareness campaign should be launched.
Pakistan’s move follows similar bans in Jordan, Iraq, Nepal, the Indian state of Gujarat and the Indonesian province of Aceh.
What is PUBG and why is it so popular?
While the full title is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, most people call it PUBG, because it’s not quite a title that rolls off the tongue.
Often likened to the blockbuster 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.
The game itself is a take on the Battle Royale (or H1Z1: King of the Kill, or The Hunger Games) concept – a number of people are released onto an island, last person standing wins. To do that, you’ve got to find weapons, kill people you see, and avoid danger.
Each match pits about 100 people against each other, some of which can be in teams, while others will be going it alone. Winners receive their prestigious ‘winner winner, chicken dinner’ title, on top of an in-game currency that lets them purchase cosmetic items.