Broadband services suspension results in Rs1.6bn loss in Pakistan

The suspension of mobile broadband services in Pakistan due to political unrest has caused significant financial losses for digital service providers, the government and online services.

According to telecommunication sources, the suspension has resulted in an estimated revenue loss of Rs1.6 billion for telecom operators, while the government has lost around Rs570 million in tax revenue.

Individuals who depend on digital apps and payments have also suffered a significant loss in earnings.

Citizens and businesses have urged the government to restore mobile data services, insisting that its absence was leading to great economic costs.

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday issued notices to federal government and others over the suspension of internet services in the country as protests broke out following the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

Hearing the petition, filed by Lawyer Abuzar Salman Khan Niazi, the court summoned a reply from authorities by May 22.

In the petition, Lawyer Abuzar Salman pleaded the court to order restoration of internet services and social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

“This right has been conferred on the people of Pakistan under Article 19-A of the Constitution. The same cannot be abridged, curtailed and eliminated through imposition of blanket ban, prohibition orders. Thus, the impugned blockage of the internet service is liable to be set aside,” the petition stated.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Wednesday said that internet services across the country will remain suspended for an indefinite period.

The services were suspended as protests erupted after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest in Al-Qadir Trust case.

The decision to block mobile broadband services was taken on the directives of the Ministry of Interior, it added.

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