After Nepal, Pakistan and India, Afghanistan is the newest addition to the list of countries that are banning PUBG Mobile. The Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA) announced today it has decided to ban “PUBG online game” temporarily after a “comprehensive assessment” after meetings with different ministries. A statement from ATRA received by Pajhwok Afghan News said the authority consulted the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Telecommunication and Science, psychologists, parents, school headmasters, cybersecurity experts and other relevant sources on suspending the game.
Along with PUBG Mobile, ATRA also wants to identify any games in the country which may have “negative impacts” on children and youth. The board also added that it wanted to provide support for developing games “complying with Afghani and social culture”, as well as religious values. “The decision was taken to block this game on a temporary basis considering social and security perspectives,” said the acting chairman of the ATRA, Omar Mansoor Ansari. “ATRA continues investigations and consultations to find out a permanent solution thereto.” The board wants to develop a “special policy and procedure” for regulating the “games industry market” by using the temporary ban on PUBG.
Afghanistan now joins Nepal, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, and India as countries who have banned the PUBG Mobile at some point. Although Pakistan later lifted the ban, most countries have cited “negative effects” on players, calling the game “harmful to society,” or posing a “potential national security threat.” The PUBG Mobile ban in India is showing signs of being lifted but there is no official announcement for when that would happen.