Pakistan’s government has invited union leaders heading the strikes at Pakistan Telecommunications Company (PTCL) to negotiate with management and the state, so that their concerns about the company’s privatisation can be addressed. Union leaders said they would not talk with PTCL management, although they would respond to the government. The state has said that the privatisation will go ahead despite the strikes, and has suggested that the unions turn their attention to other issues such as salaries. The workers, however, have said that they are only concerned with ending the privatisation process, and any other issues are ‘secondary’. They have said that they would completely jam the country’s communication system if any employee was removed, terminated or suspended by management, by tampering with the main fibre-optic cable.
In a separate story, the Indian government has said it will not lift the ban on making international calls to Pakistan from Jammu and Kashmir in India for ‘security reasons’. The only time India allowed a roaming facility with Pakistan was during the cricket series last year.