PTA asked for measures to address hate speech, religious intolerance on social media


ISLAMABAD: The Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat has directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to assert its regulatory role on telecommunication sector for improvement in service delivery and coverage in far flung areas. The Committee also directed PTA to take stringent measures to address the menace of hate speech and religious intolerance on social media.

Meeting of the NA Body on Cabinet Secretariat was held here in the Parliament House on Wednesday with MNA Syed Amin-ul-Haque in chair.

The Committee was given a comprehensive briefing about the regulatory mechanism of PTA and its future initiatives. The Chairman PTA apprised the Committee that PTA was actively pursuing its role as regulator on the telecommunication sector.

He informed that PTA had ensured service delivery in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the telecommunication licenses, modernization of services, regulate competition between telecom operators besides protecting consumers’ interests.

Responding to a query of a Member, the Chairman PTA apprised that the Authority also ensures effective compliance of telecom services in far-flung areas by operators through Universal Support Fund (USF). He assured that PTA would take up the provision of telecom services through USF in Baluchistan and erstwhile FATA Districts.

The Chairman PTA further informed that installation of Mobile Towers especially in the residential areas was allowed after a stringent process of verification and compliant to universal health and safety standards.

The Committee appreciated the performance of PTA, however, directed to take appropriate measures against fraudulent element defrauding people of their money through mobile networks, obscenity, spreading hate speech, sectarianism and religious intolerance. He informed that investment conducive environment created by government had resulted in 70% rise in mobile devices assembly which would ultimately result in their manufacturing in Pakistan.

The Committee while reviewing compliance of Committee’s earlier directives/recommendations appreciated the timely response by the Establishment Division. The Committee recommended for developing Standard Operation Procedure for disposal of cases of deputation in Federal Government Department under wedlock policy. The Committee directed Federal Public Service Commission to conclude inquiry into the alleged unauthorized amendment in FPSC rules within six weeks.