Where do we stand after a ban on PUBG? I will come back to this question later but internet censorship is not new in Pakistan. On different frames of time, PTA banned different websites on account of blasphemy, anti-Islamic, and national security since 2003. Now it begs the question, how effective those bans were?
Youth is an asset to its country. You want to see the future of any country look at their youth how they are doing. At this time, we, as a Pakistani youth, can do a lot better if we have the right resources and opportunities. Pakistan is a developing country and massively lacks in technology development. Banning apps is like closing one more door for the youth of Pakistan. The first time YouTube got banned in 2008 and since then it was the practice of banning apps and websites. But these bans have side effects on the opportunities and economy of Pakistan. After YouTube banned, the entertainment industry got real hit and now look at how many YouTubers have crossed one million marks and how much they are providing value not only in sense of money but also in entertainment. If you have noticed many content creators are also moving from TV to YouTube. Now fewer and fewer people are watching Television and focus is changing towards the Internet and according to DAWN, there is almost a 10% decrease in TV viewership since the year 2015-2016. We as a nation have to be careful about how we conduct ourselves on the internet. There should be regulations for the internet and the government should look after but banning an app is not an answer.
PUBG is in a crossfire between parents, children, gamers, and PTA officials. It has allegations of wastage of time and being suicidal but we have to ask a question here banning just a game on the grounds of suicidal without any solid proves. Isn’t this too much? Is our nation so fragile? Coming to my original question what happens after the PUBG ban, teenagers are earning through PUBG yes I agree that money would not be enough but they are having pocket money for them. So many tournaments popped up based on PUBG, those tournaments were not only a source of entertainment but also the start of the digital age in Pakistan. PUBG is the baby step of our development in the Pakistani technology sector.
Is banning an app effective measure?? Like I mentioned earlier, there is no doubt that Pakistan should practice internet regulations but PTA can follow more effective tactics than banning an app altogether. The banning of an app should be a last resort. YouTube banned because of inappropriate references to Holy Prophet but a better way to do is restricting blasphemy videos. For PUBG, there can be time restriction imposed nationwide if solely the problem is overplaying.
We as a nation need to think positively and take better steps to ensure that in this technology era we strive and stand prominent. PTA should take measures that encourage the digital age and create online opportunities that benefit Pakistan and its people for a brighter future.
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