Three Balochistan districts facing suspension of telecom services: report

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The Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication were informed by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) that three districts of Balochistan — Kalat, Awaran and Kech — had been facing suspension of telecom services.

According to a local media report, this had been going on for the past one and a half year due to security concerns.

The Acting Chairman of the PTA Mohammad Naveed was quoted as saying, “Telecom services were suspended in February 2017 in seven districts of Balochistan after the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) cited security reasons. While services were restored in four districts of the province, there is still no connectivity in the remaining three districts of the province.”

Moreover, according to the PTA official, the IT ministry had issued a policy directive regarding the “closure of telecom services due to national security concerns” in 2009.

Besides Kalat districts, services were suspended in Chaman, Awaran, Pishin, Kharan, Dalbandin and Kech districts.

Following this, the Senate Committee chairperson constituted a subcommittee to take up the matter with the ISI.