An unidentified cellco has filed a law suit against the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) regarding the temporary closure of networks due to security concerns, reports the Express Tribune. The cellco filed a petition with the Sindh High Court – which has issued notices to the PTA and MoITT – citing massive financial losses from the suspension of services on 10, 19 and 20 August, 21 September, 27 October and 16 November. The unnamed carrier claims that the suspension was illegal, requiring a state of emergency to be in effect for authorities to exercise such powers. The provider’s legal representative added that if the High Court overturned the case, they would take the matter to the Supreme Court.
As previously noted by CommsUpdate, the network closures have been at the behest of the Interior Ministry, which has taken an ever-greater interest in the telecommunications industry. The ministry has ordered several temporary service blackouts in cities during religious festivals this year on the back of terrorism alerts issued by Interior Minister Rehman Malik. The disruption during traditionally busy periods has led to the loss of ‘billions of rupees’ for operators.