Urdu update here | English translation by Romessa Nadeem
The federal government has finally decided in principle to provide 3G and 4G service to the tribal areas. The Interior Ministry informed the Islamabad High Court of the decision, after which the Court decided to deal with the petition filed against non-provision of service. The court held that the government has agreed to provide basic necessities like the internet, which means that the petition filed before the court and implementation of the court directions has started so the case is disposed of.
Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah had heard the petition filed by a student of National University of Modern Languages. A Home Ministry spokesman told the court that “a schedule has been prepared for the restoration of the internet in the tribal areas, which has also been provided to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Service restoration work will begin soon and service will be provided to all areas gradually by the end of the year.”
The court in its remarks stated that the internet, 3G and 4G services are among basic necessities in modern times, to which all citizens have a right. Thanks to the sacrifices of the security forces and the people, peace has been restored in the tribal areas and the former FATA has been integrated into the KPK, now that there is no justification for depriving the youth of the internet.
A major demand of locals in the tribal areas was the restoration of mobile phones and 3G and 4G services. Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister KPK themselves had announced the resumption of service in these areas, but according to officials, it was delayed due to the completion of some formalities.
On the other hand, the mobile phone companies were of the view that these services could not be launched without the formal orders of the PTA and the Home Ministry.
The student who approached the court was of the view that during the coronavirus pandemic, when the education system has become largely online, students in areas without internet are not able to avail this facility and their education is being hampered.