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SMS and voice bundle packages might be banned from 2nd September. — File Photo
SMS and voice bundle packages might be banned from 2nd September. — File Photo

Dawn has reliably learnt that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has directed all telecom operators to discontinue all kinds of voice and SMS bundle packages, including daily, weekly, fortnightly and monthly packages by the 2nd of September and submit a comprehensive compliance report in this regard.

This ultimatum appears in the form of a letter, signed by Muhammad Talib Dogar, the Director General (Services) PTA, and refers to an earlier directive which classified these bundle packages as “contrary to moral values of society”, recommending that their use be discontinued.

The letter’s content and authenticity, a copy of which has been sent to the regulatory heads of all telecom operators, has been confirmed by Mobilink’s Director Communications, Omar Manzoor. “We are reviewing the notice and will respond within the stipulated timeline,” he said.

It is pertinent to mention here that there has been an ongoing debate in Parliament on this issue for some time now. However, this decision is likely to create ripples across the sector and provide further strain to an industry already overburdened with heavy taxation.

Mobile internet packages are likely to remain unaffected.

Comments (74) Closed

skhn Aug 29, 2013 10:35pm

This is insane and funny at the same time... all telecomm companies do offer packages and bundles to promote their products! how is it hurting your moral values?

Moazzam Aug 29, 2013 10:49pm

Wow... Good decision!

Muhammad Aug 29, 2013 10:49pm

What about mobile phone use in general; television, or internet use? Are they

bangash Aug 29, 2013 10:49pm

This makes no sense. I think someone is using PTA to blackmail telecoms into handing over more lifafas.

Mohammad Aug 29, 2013 10:49pm

This is a sector that is doing so well in Pakistan. What do they mean by immoral ? Because girls and boys talk on the phone ? Why is it the telecom providers fault, let them progress and do well. What is wrong with Pakistan ? Why are illiterate and short sighted people on the helms of such important institutions. If a girl and a boy are speaking on the phone then it is the responsibility of the parents to judge them !!!! Shameful business antics by Pakistan..Im disgusted !

Rosh Aug 29, 2013 10:54pm

Excellent step. Society should be more important than companies.

Jibreel Sohail Aug 29, 2013 11:07pm

Next thing you know they ban writing cause "contrary to our moral values"

Specifically for the resulting deluge of love letters at Post Offices.

Gradually it will be extended to speaking the truth - journalism as well.

Makes me shameful to admit I am a Pakistani, a completely disillusioned citizen of the Islamic North Korea -.-

Sabahat Aug 29, 2013 11:20pm

A very good move.

I hope someone can tackle those late night packages and triple the cost of making calls after 10 PM. And even voice and text messages.

These cell phones have been ruining our youth and also source of major issues at home.

naeem Aug 29, 2013 11:32pm

why our govt. is always worried about our moral values. cant they see themselves how morally corrupt and spiritually bankrupt are they. dont they think that tax evasion ,gas and electricity theft is also because of pathetic state of our moral values . we should do something about it. going on hajj or umrra along with bunch of stooges on state expanse is much more serious issues than sms bundle packages.

Amjad Wyne Aug 29, 2013 11:46pm

Dawn could have provided a sentence or two to explain why PTA believes that bundling of SMS and Voice has moral implications - the news item does not make sense.

Khalid Aug 30, 2013 12:00am

As if everything is OK in Pakistan. Moral values?. This is the biggest rubbish I heard. So PTA is now responsible for moral values of Pakistanis?. By the way, what qualifies them to be the guardians of moral values?. Did Pakistanis appoint them as their "big brother of values"?. If you think getting rid of these packages will improve the moral values, then how about stopping women from going to work, stopping our daughters from getting educated?, and how about shutting down all TV stations? and since we are at it, how about getting rid of all computers in the country. I hope I have not forgotten something here!!.

FAREED Khan Aug 30, 2013 12:24am

This is not yet a confirm update as per Telenor pakistan.

Umair Ali Rashid Aug 30, 2013 01:38am

When has morality become a matter for the state to decide? This notion is absurd as the people who brought it forward. Bundled talktime and texting plans are offered all over the world.

Imad Qureshi Aug 30, 2013 01:41am

According to te morals of our society PTA should also direct mobile service providers to start taking bribes for the services they provide.

What nonsense these people are full of.

caos Aug 30, 2013 01:39am

Preposterous ! Really wondering 'how' he managed to gauge 'moral standards' ?

milli Aug 30, 2013 01:42am

May be if all the politicians handed their mobile phones in and paid their taxes there would be no moral issues for society

Bill Hicks Aug 30, 2013 02:44am

Amazing! how telecom regulators can dictate the morality of a country. Next they will tell that unrelated men and women should not be allowed to call each other.

SRK Aug 30, 2013 02:50am

Contrary to the moral values ? Really ? And if the same services are proved without bundling them together, somehow they become moral ?

haider mehdi Aug 30, 2013 04:06am

The PTA is wrong and since when have the become the guardians of morality. Ban all knives for people are killed. Ban computers for people watch dirty stuff. Ban speakers for people hear filthy language. Ban mirrors for they show nudity. Has this society just lost it or what. .

gulzar khan Aug 30, 2013 04:23am

no sensible reason. people still have skype, whatsapp, facebook, viber and alot more.

mzzshan Aug 30, 2013 04:26am

because of these packages a lot of students has been spoiled, ruining their lives giving no time to studies. secondly the love affairs and dating became common just because of mobile which is not allowed in our culture and religion

mansoor Aug 30, 2013 04:53am

will the banishment of these packages do play any role in the bettrmnt of our society,,,,?

Khalid Butt Aug 30, 2013 04:53am

The minister of communication should be removed. We do not have you tube which can teach our children free from class 1 to PhD. We are in jail, while living in Pakistan.

Pendoo Aug 30, 2013 04:55am

Contrary to moral values of society? Why our morals are so vulnerable that they get affected so easily? Stop being morality police please and focus on general welafare of society, eradicate terrorism and religious persecution, raise the standard of education etc, etc...

BNS Aug 30, 2013 05:35am

What is this nonsense? Is PTA and relevant authorities gone mad?

Who gave them the responsibility or authority to set standards for or judge or control morality?

What about PTA first look into the morality of its corrupt staff and officers who live beyond their means? Is not that a moral issue?Or what about the members of parliament first disclosing the means thru which they acquired all their properties and assets, is not that a morality issue?

Grow up, bite the bullet, address the real issues, not the cosmetic ones.

I am a father and am concerned that this step will take away the fraction of liberty that the kids have today.

Iftikhar ul Hasan Mian Aug 30, 2013 05:40am

SMS packages are really useful & cheap n' must be continued. In this free market economy of todays world,civilized governments never take any facility from their people, rather they inhance it n' make it more beneficial. Social valuesnever stay the same for ever.We need to learn living in 21st century, not in the stone age. The govt. must take backo this illogical decision.

Jacob Ashai Aug 30, 2013 06:33am

Could someone elaborate on how these bundles are contrary to moral values of society and what are those moral values?

Ali Aug 30, 2013 09:14am

I do understand as to what the law makers are trying to achieve here. But this is not the way of controlling the moraloto meter of your society. The local TV channels are going rampant in broadcasting programs and such content which can very easily be classified as immoral back 5-10 years, but there is hardly any check and balance on the highly viral media.

Suhaib Ayaz Aug 30, 2013 10:30am

Why not ban mobile phones instead of restricting packages and stuff, they are of course invented by Jews and devil's instrument. They allow unmarried men and women communicate which is sinful.

Pakistan is the darkest comedy on earth, aired every day!

Shahid Aug 30, 2013 10:30am

Idiots. Why not stop Internet, phones, email altogether as it is against the preaching and affect our morals? Close down all schools as these are against preaching of our religion. Start using ankle high shalwar, drink water by sitting down, only use cups made out of mud as that is what our preaching says!

Sit home and just produce kids!

Ali Aug 30, 2013 11:47am

We request to Supreme Court of Pakistan to take action against this as this is the violence of our rights as govt are increasing taxes on calls.

Fazeel Ahsan Aug 30, 2013 11:50am

I should not be banned as a student we require sms packages for details / in touch / future news from our Class Representative

saint Aug 30, 2013 12:22pm

What else can you expect from this group of pseudo-intelluctual jokers.

Fizz Aug 30, 2013 12:34pm

This is unfair.These chat and voice packages were what made mobile phones a cheap and convenient source of communication for the masses.Once these packages are terminated and with the taxes already there it would cost much more to call or text. Moral values I feel like laughing. Where are the moral values when the private channels of Pakistan show Indian Award Function on the first, second and third day of Eid. Is this what you call moral value? And by the way who gave PTA the authority of moral policing the entire nation? Moreover in the UK they have facility of text messages and free minutes to talk. PTA director must think once again. All mobile companies will get bankrupted. 70% of people use Facebook from mobile. Even Facebook will get effected by this. Frankly I am laughing hysterically after reading thing and also thinking that we are back to stone age aka FLINT STONES (cartoon) if some one remembers that... Soon National Assembly is going to pass a resolution to rename Pakistan to LaLaLand...

Truth Hurts Aug 30, 2013 01:43pm

@Fazeel Ahsan: No one is talking about banning 'you'; the debate circulates around banning late night packages. Your English is pretty weak, if you couldn't benefit from these packages before then I hardly think you will be a victim if the ban goes through. Perhaps, you'll focus more on your books then.

Truth Hurts Aug 30, 2013 01:44pm

@Ali: Ali, on the contrary, it is the Supreme Court that has issued this order to PTA. I don't find how applying to the Supreme Court will help you?

Truth Hurts Aug 30, 2013 01:46pm

@Jacob Ashai: Hi Jacob.

Moral Values - Late night flirtatious messages to individuals of the opposite sex who are not married to you by law. This is against our religion and so against our morals.

Ashras Aug 30, 2013 01:57pm

Most Pathethic Decision it will burden a common person or students who used it for their needs not effect the guys who missused it They can Either use Whatsapp nimbuzz viber on their luxury Phones, To keep satisfying their self needs please dont do this to common MAn

Hamza Aug 30, 2013 03:16pm

@Shahid : Dear Mr. Shahid, before saying anything think three times and measure it three times then say. I request you to read your statement once again.

Hamza Aug 30, 2013 03:28pm

To all who are not using these packages as entertainment, you all have rights to fight for it. Because this is your need. And to all those who are using these packages for fun it's a good lesson for you as well as your elder to check and balance to your child. To all those who said Pakistan is going to the stone age era, you are absolutely wrong, what our religion teach us, respect women, if you like here send a proposal to her elder and get marry. Unethical communication over the sms or via voice what is this? To all those who said its is unfair all because they lost their fun remember in your house and within your family you have daughter, sister, wife and mother what if some one is doing the same thing with them, you will definitely take her cell phone and restrict them to use it again. Why let them do because you become a "gharatmand" person. So please fight for true.

Hamza Aug 30, 2013 03:36pm

Government will not stop media to promote the unethical culture, which is not belong to us, because they are media is paying them to do this. Unfortunately we are no more Muslim, we have to make our self a true Muslim first, then we can change it only. Religion allow us to do everything (except the HARAM things) but within the boundary, if you cross that boundary we will see the problem, tension, and all the things which leads toward the dark age.

Ashfaque Ahmed Aug 30, 2013 04:22pm

@Truth Hurts: In fact people do not understand that there are matters subject to preaching rather than imposing bans. You can't impose bans and anticipate that youth will be pure in next two years or so.. Those who are champions of our ideological boundaries should consider corruption, violence against women, child labour, as the breach of universal moral values.

S.Masumi Aug 30, 2013 04:32pm

Good job .

Majid baloch Aug 30, 2013 05:26pm

should not finish the package

Rizwan Aug 30, 2013 05:32pm

Funniest move by the government....i shall be great full to all these tax thieves if they tell me wot is the definition of morality by the way....You are not our guardians,,,,we know wot is good and not good for us...don.t impose ur ugly ideology on us and we don't need it at all so....just mind your own business mandate....Mullah's are enough for this.

mansoor ali Aug 30, 2013 08:29pm

ye buhat hi bura fasila hai in ka istmal sahi be hota hai our ghalt be agar band karne he hai tu hour pakge ku band karin sms pakge ku nahi

Zuni Khan Aug 30, 2013 09:48pm

Tum loug aik kaam karo. Pakistan mein saaray networks aur mobile bhi block karwa dou.

Dani Aug 30, 2013 09:57pm

Do they even know what is society and what is morality and most important who makes morality in a society maybe they don't even know how many societies are here in this country

but in vain actually it's just an economic move they'd fill their tummies nothing else they know all this

Tariq Aug 30, 2013 10:52pm

Govt should stop late night Late sms... night flirtatious messages to individuals of the opposite sex . who are not married . This is against our religion and so against our morals.

rana zia Aug 31, 2013 12:58am

Sher Ko Vote dene WALO Sher Bano.

Abhi 5 Saal Poore krne hain N league ne. :O

Rizwan Aug 31, 2013 01:49am

i beleive it's a good move by PTA. Atleast i am not going to receive tons of bogus marketing SMSes now :-) really it was depressing i would like to go back in 2004/2005, phones were only used when there was a need to use.

Rizwan Aug 31, 2013 02:10am

i don't know why everyone here is against PTA for this decision. can't you just relate our country's overall condition a decade before and now?? i am not saying everything went worst just because of those sms and call packages but offcourse it also contributed a great deal. well one can hardly deny the fact that youth is not just using phones but abusing, we might have many friends in common who use to talk late night long hours and hours ignoring their sleep, endangering their physical and mental health. Many others miss their classes, late at jobs the next morning or if they didn't work or study so just spend long hours on bed after sunset.

About sms packages, PTA claim on moral ground is authentic to great extent, today youth are not only forwarding adult messages but also share them between friends in schools and colleges, undoubtedly random receipt of sms during class or studying at home distracts.

unfortunately we live in a environment where we are easily influenced or moulded to anywhere one would like us to be. Great job by PTA, hope it going to be implemented too.

Muhabatawala Aug 31, 2013 09:29am

I am amazed that the newspapers like Dawn has jumped on to 'speculative news mongering' by saying 'reliably learnt'.... no need to verify the facts because with getting job in a media house we automatically get an all-time valid license to write and comment anything conforming to our thoughts and wishes.Please check today's newspapers wherein it was clarified that no SMS or call package has been banned but only 'chat rooms'which has very limited usage.

usman khan Aug 31, 2013 10:40am

sms package khatm na karee lakin voice khatm akre q k sare pasad ke jar vice call hai sms ko cotinues rakheee

usman khan Aug 31, 2013 10:46am

@Sabahat: you look our youth power what we do

haleeem muhmmad Aug 31, 2013 10:47am

that a bad descion

usman khan Aug 31, 2013 10:52am

@Jacob Ashai: ab kia ho ga

sabeeh omer Aug 31, 2013 11:08am

@ Shahid: Your statement reflects your altered state of consciousness. One can just pity at your thinking!

sheikh Aug 31, 2013 12:21pm

Yes, its duty of gov to think about our youth. here is another question for PAMERA why it doesnt stop the morning Tv shows where boys and girls dance by crossing our moral values.. The dresses of these hosts are borrowed from Hindu culture. Is this modernization, its not modernization if you will wear short and unehical clothes. Pakistan was made in the name of islam but we have forgot the golden principles of islam.i dnt say women shouldnt be on media but in my opinion women should know thier own honour which is respected by our lovely religion islam.Women should take participate in every field by giving respect for our moral values.

zoya Aug 31, 2013 08:36pm

thats a good step if it is implimented.

zoya Aug 31, 2013 08:35pm

waoo that is very good decision. it should must be implimented.

Rina Sep 01, 2013 01:10am

Mujahid Ali Sep 01, 2013 10:49am

So, the PTA doesn't want young people with who belong to lower income groups to love? What's the point? If one buys an Android smartphone they can just run voip apps to communicate over WiFi. i hope they have WiFi :( Cheap data packages perhaps?

Kashif Sep 01, 2013 02:03pm

Unfortunately, mobile call and sms packages are the main reason of separation between me and my wife. And currently i know about at least 20 cases in my surrounding where mobile packages are destroying the life of newly married couples. I am thankful to PTA for this act. When i was in Canada i used to think before sending message because it cost nearly a dollar and in Pakistan 1 dollar means you can talk whole month and send unlimited messages. Actually this west technology is being miss used in Pakistan, one should use standard rates to call and send message, this will help our nation to concentrate more on their actual work and will let Pakistanis to grow at better rate than now.

sameer Sep 01, 2013 04:11pm

we should do STRIKE ...we should do something...EVERY facility has its positive and negative use...

sameer Sep 01, 2013 04:14pm

we should do STRIKE ...we should do something...EVERY facility has its positive and negative use...

Khan Sep 01, 2013 08:23pm

@Jacob Ashai: The packages make calling and texting very cheap after you pay the upfront charges. An hour of voice call would cost you the same as a minute would have cost you without the package (but only on a select few numbers).

The only way you can benefit from these packages are when you have to call the same phone number everyday and talk for hours. The consensus here is that the only people who use these packages are young men and women (lovers often, not married to each other). They argue, why would someone talk with his mother/wife/husband for hours and hours everyday?

So because the unmarried lovers are using these packages, they are immoral and should be banned.

Haider Ali Sep 02, 2013 09:38am

Great decision.... These packages are destroying our society and wastes a lot of time for youngsters.

Shaheen Sep 02, 2013 10:41am

Thanks to the decision makers they have taken a right step. I fully support the decision

Shaheen Sep 02, 2013 12:27pm

Good job done by PTA

ZQ Sep 02, 2013 02:59pm

@Kashif: It is a shame that you rely on PTA to manage your morality. You are intelligent enough to recognize the issue but unfortunately too weak to do anything about it yourself. If your marriage meant anything to you, you would have addressed the issue but it seems that you, like millions of other Pakistanis, are just looking for a scapegoat. By the way while we are at it, we should also ban TV, internet, education etc because all of these things can potentially harm the morals of our society!

ZQ Sep 02, 2013 03:00pm

@Tariq: why dont you move to Afghanistan?

Gin Sep 02, 2013 04:47pm

'Kill the carriers rather than devising a cure' if they think by closing a gate of that value this so called "morality" will start gushing out of society ; sadly it's not stone-age. What will they do next? Bann the internet? >_>

Afaq Sep 03, 2013 12:38pm

@ZQ: PTA has clarified that no ban on SMS or calls would be imposed but it would be chatrooms. However, if there was a ban on the night time packages (NOT the CALLS and SMS Entirely), i would have voted in the favor. MSN Chatrooms were closed for the same reasons. PTA is the provider of a service and i guess they have the right to decide about the appropriate or inappropriate service. Even though it is out of the point now as there is no ban on SMS or calls bundles but tell me one thing. What do the advertisers focus when they advertise their night time packages?