The Islamabad High Court has ordered the government to lift the ban on popular online game PUBG Mobile. The game was banned in the country for 24 days when the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority decided to impose a temporary ban on the game. The official reason cited was “that the game is addictive, wastage of time and poses serious negative impact on physical and psychological health of children.” The PTA also made claims that some aspects of the game were anti-Islam and even made note of a suicide that occured in relation to the game.
[Also read: Pakistan Issues Temporary Ban on PUBG]
A preliminary court hearing was held on July 9 but the game continued to remain banned in the country. Yesterday, the PTA announced that the game was to remain banned as per the decision made in this hearing. This hearing took place in the Lahore High Court. However, soon after the announcement was made public, the Islamabad High Court ordered the government to lift the ban.
On Wednesday, Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry slammed the ongoing "moral policing and ban approach" in Pakistan. Fawad said that it was not okay to go on banning apps left, right, and centre, as it would "destroy [Pakistani] tech industry". He highlighted how development in technology would "be permanently hampered" across Pakistan, a country that already lags significantly behind the world in terms of science and research.The federal minister also expressed his concern over how there was a consistent and "ill-advised interference in economic matters" that affected the country’s growth.
The Pakistani gaming community were indeed happy with the decision after the ban was lifted from their favorite game. Many reactions were seen across forums and social media platforms, hailing the decision as the right one. Esports in Pakistan is growing and despite the hurdles in the country, players in various titles have managed to achieve incredible success. Syed Sumail Hassan became the youngest player to win The International when he won the trophy in 2015 along with Evil Geniuses. The tournament is the landmark event for Dota 2 and features some of the biggest prize pools ever seen in esports. More recently, Arslan Ash dominated the Tekken circuit in 2019 and his success has allowed more players from the community to step up and try their luck in the FGC community.. A Pakistani PUBG Mobile team, Free Style are also competing in the currently ongoing PUBG Mobile World League.