The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) has expressed concerns over the restriction of connectivity – internet services in Pakistan while saying that in addition to the harm imposed on businesses, restrictions can have a knock-on credit and investment plans, ultimately damaging the country’s reputation for managing the economy and foreign investment.
Julian Gorman, Head of Asia Pacific GSMA through a letter conveyed his concerns to Minister Ministry of IT and Telecom Syed Amin Ul Haque on the service restriction order in Pakistan.
Blocking mobile broadband is another deadly strike against Digital Pakistan and the future of all Pakistan. Each day closed adds people and GDP damage irreparable in our lifetime. Make data flow again, he added.
The letter noted, “The GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, is concerned about the impact that the current restrictions are having on citizens and businesses in Pakistan. In today’s digital societies individuals and businesses rely on connectivity for their livelihoods and access to essential services and information. Prolonged restrictions can also have far-reaching effects on citizens’ health, education social, and economic welfare. In addition to the harm imposed on businesses, restrictions can have a knock-on credit and investment plans, ultimately damaging the country’s reputation for managing the economy and foreign investment”.
It further stated that GSMA discourages the use of service restriction orders. Any SRO should be supported by continuous monitoring of the situation and its impact, together with analysis and dynamic decision-making processes allowing for the swift restoration of services.
The powers to restrict services should be exercised carefully solely in exceptional and pre-defined circumstances, and only if absolutely necessary and proportionate to achieve a specified and legitimate aim that is consistent with relevant laws, internationally recognized human rights conventions, and the ITU constitution.
The GSMA urges the Government to lift the suspension of services and restore access as soon as possible and stands ready to engage constructively wherever support is required to improve the process and ensure business continuity.
Source: Pro Pakistani