IHC seeks govt’s reply over internet suspension in tribal districts

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday sought a reply from the interior secretary on suspension of internet services in the tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Hearing a petition filed by a student Syed Muhammad regarding the suspension of 3G and 4G services for online classes during lockdown, Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked, “You can’t shut the internet service during a lockdown or any operation. No law says that internet services can be suspended in any area.”
“We can’t just close the internet there,” Justice Minallah said. “If something like this happens in Islamabad, will the internet services be suspended here too,” he asked.
The court has summoned a reply from the interior secretary and PTA chairperson by April 28. The interior secretary has also been instructed to appear in court at the next hearing.
Notices were issued after the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication submitted its reply. The interior ministry had placed the ban in 2016, said the information ministry in its reply.
It is pertinent to mention here that the petitioner said that thousands of students are not being able to take online classes because there are no 3G or 4G services in the merged tribal areas. “Many students are missing out on their education because of this,” the petition added.

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