THE proposed ban on chat applications WhatsApp, Viber, and Skype is akin to smothering the channel of communication. Despite the technological advancements we are lagging behind in the field of science and technology due to such measures.

And the dilemma is that our government is still unaware about the serious consequences these immature steps are generating in our society.

It has been a year now that YouTube was banned. People were inventing slyly ways to drill the ban by using different ‘protective’ shields. Owing to this the proliferation of highly obnoxious sites are rising.

By curtailing ‘useful’ sites we have been giving rise to the ‘unwanted’ stuff to peep in our life. Many websites which were previously banned because of their ‘harmful contents’; blasphemy, pornography, etc. are now easily accessible. This practice has been rendering serious harm to young minds.

And now, what consequences the ban on chat applications is going to promulgate. They will be surely harmful again. This move is going to cast a pall of gloom on the activities of entrepreneurs, as many small entrepreneurs use this tool to interact with their customers.

Simultaneously, it will also give sheer headache to the common people when they will not be able to contact their relatives living abroad.

Sadly, our leadership has failed to devise a safe road to nab the criminals, using SMS/social sites to fulfil their heinous tactics. In spite of such ‘protective’ measures of banning sites and applications, the attacks are on the rise as the government isn’t wise enough. Who is the victim of this perplexed battle? Surely, it is the bourgeois. And it is creating a situation of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’. Wisely, we should learn to attack the problem not the people.

MAHVISH SHAHID

Lahore

‘Dear Burgers’

THIS refers to the Sindh government’s proposal to ban Skype, Viber, Tango, etc. Such a ban is another sign of failure and an incompetent Sindh government has failed to apprehend terrorists, extortionists, target killers and criminals in a professional way. They are now looking for shortcuts. Not long ago the government banned YouTube, citing objectionable material on the website as the reason. Later, such a ban was supported by the conservative judiciary as well. What was the outcome? YouTube was still available through so many proxy servers.

Same will be the case of this proposed ban on web-based communication platforms -- Skype, Tango, Viber and WhatsApp.

If someone thinks that such a ban would disrupt communication among criminals is perhaps still living in the 20th century wherein Internet was available for a privileged class only.

Pakistan is flooded with thousands of illegal SIMs which are used by criminals with impunity. A number of extortion victims in Karachi receive calls from Afghan phone networks. Why is such a communication facility not tracked and suspended?

There is no control on the sale of ammonium nitrate which is used for, other than its use as a fertiliser, making explosives. It is available on the shelf for anyone, whether a farmer or not.

Apparently, instead of carrying out some tough tasks, the government has chosen an easy path by banning web-based communication platforms, presuming that the criminals will not be able to communicate.

Obviously, there is uproar on social media against this proposed ban. I was astonished to read a tweet by PPP chairman, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, wherein he spoke of ‘Dear Burgers’ while defending this ban.

These remarks from the head of a political party which claims to represent all sections of society all across the country need no more comments as its shows the true picture of our rulers and would be rulers.

One would expect that sanity would prevail and the government would take some real action instead of waging a war on the Internet.

MASOOD KHAN

Jubail, Saudi Arabia

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