After a month of confusion involving PUBG, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority and the Islamabad High Court, a clean chit has been given to the game. The game was banned for nearly a month in the country and there were conflicting decisions made by different authorities leading to a messy situation.
[Also read: Pakistan Issues Temporary Ban on PUBG]
On July 2, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority released a statement that the game would be banned temporarily till a hearing took place on July 9. The official reason provided was that “the game is addictive, wastage of time and poses serious negative impact on physical and psychological health of children.” On the day of the hearing the Islamabad High Court ordered the PTA to lift the ban. However, the PTA released a statement saying that the game would continue to remain banned due to a order passed in the Lahore High Court. They also invoked the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and it was said that the PTA had approached the PUBG management for a discussion on a suitable framework to address key concerns but had not received a response from PUBG.
Yesterday, on July 30 the PTA once again released a statement that the they finally had managed to speak to representatives from Proxima Beta Pte Ltd and the discussions had been fruitful. PB are the official data controllers for the game and were able to convince the PTA with regards of security concerns and misuse of the platform. PB also requested the PTA to unban the game and were willing to work with them, emphasizing on continued engagement and a comprehensive control mechanism.
The decision will come as good news to Pakistani gamers, who have been appealing via social media. Some big names, including the world's top Tekken player, Arslan Ash spoke in favor of unbanning the game and promoting esports in the country. Pakistani team, FreeStyle were playing in the PUBG Mobile World League Season Zero over the last two weeks, but have since been eliminated.
More recently, PUBG Mobile has come under the scanner in India as well with concerns of data privacy and national security. According to reports, India has made a list of 275 Chinese apps which are suspect to unsavory activities and this includes PUBG Mobile. In June 2020, India banned 59 Chinese apps including Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.