Pakistan may ban 'vulgar' cheap calls

2012-11-22 17:10

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Islamabad - Pakistan has ordered mobile phone companies to ban cheap, late-night calling rates because they allegedly promote vulgarity among young men and women, officials said on Wednesday.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said it asked companies to suspend attractive night-time rates in keeping with government policy.

"We have issued the directive to all the mobile telephone companies to shelve night call packages. The step was taken after lengthy discussions," PTA spokesperson Malahat Rab said.

"These directives are issued in the light of the government decisions and this decision has also been taken by the government," she said.

Members of parliament also demanded action.

"We strongly object to the night phone packages and recommended that the PTA either fix a time limit for this facility or ban it," said Kalsoom Perveen, who heads the committee in the upper house of parliament that made the recommendation.

No stranger to clamping down

"These packages are not right for our youth," she said.

Shafqat Hayayt Khan, an opposition lawmaker who sits on the information technology committee in the lower house, also backed the ban.

"There is no doubt that these cheap night call rates packages are promoting vulgarity. We will make the PTA implement this decision," he said.

Pakistan is no stranger to clamping down on phone and internet services.

Mobile networks have been shut down to prevent militant attacks and Pakistan has since mid-September blocked access to YouTube to protest against the American film Innocence of Muslims.

In November 2011, the PTA also tried to ban nearly 1 700 "obscene" words from text messages, but the move was met with uproar - both at the attempted censorship and the inclusion of innocuous terms such as "lotion", "athlete's foot" and "idiot".

Court challenge

In 2010, Pakistan shut down Facebook for nearly two weeks in a storm of controversy about blasphemy and continues to restrict hundreds of online links.

Mobile phone companies challenged the latest PTA order in court.

"We received the directive the day before yesterday and have challenged it in the Islamabad High Court. We can't comment on it because it is a judicial matter now," said Aamir Pasha, a spokesperson for leading mobile phone company Ufone.

Read more on:    pakistan
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
12 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Delft - 20:37 PM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed at Hindle Road
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.