The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Wednesday suspended PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) — a popular online multiplayer game played by millions in the country — after "receiving complaints from different segments of society".
"The PTA has received numerous complaints against PUBG wherein it is stated that the game is addictive, wastage of time and poses serious negative impact on physical and psychological health of the children," a statement of the authority said.
It added that cases of suicide attributed to PUBG game have also been reported in media reports. "Honourable Lahore High Court has also directed PTA to look into the issue and decide the matter after hearing the complainants. In this regard, a hearing is being conducted on 9th of July 2020."
The country's top telecommunication authority also decided to solicit views of the public with reference to the said online game. "In this regard public is encouraged to provide feedback through [email protected] by July 10, 2020," it further said.
Last month, a 10th grade student had committed suicide in Lahore's Gulshan-e-Abbass Phase-II. The boy was found hanging in his room. The police also spotted a smartphone beside the body with the PUBG game app running on it.
His parents also confirmed to the police that they had stopped the boy for playing the game.
After the incident, a letter written to the Punjab inspector general of police (IGP) on Saturday sought a ban on the popular online game.
The letter was penned by SSP Liaqat Ali Malik on the instructions of CCPO Zulfiqar Hameed. It mentioned that the online video game has devastating impacts on the mental health of the youth and two incidents of suicide have been reported in the city.
It stated that excessive violence triggers aggressive behaviour among the youth and they become addicted to the game. The CCPO said the game should be banned and an awareness campaign should be launched.
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