ISLAMABAD: A leading internet service provider has filed a petition in Islamabad High Court (IHC) against alleged discriminatory treatment meted out to it by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in launching its service in Azad Kashmir (AJK).
The petition filed by Nayatel was heard by Justice Aamer Farooq on Friday.
The petitioner alleged discriminatory treatment by the PTA when it started efforts to provide fibre broadband services in AJK.
The Special Communication Organisation (SCO), a government-owned entity under the under administrative control of the Ministry of IT and Telecom (MOIT), operates commercial telecom business in AJK and GB.
The petitioner maintained that ever since Nayatel attempted to participate in the AJK’s fibre broadband market, PTA has been taking discriminatory steps such as delaying licence applications for more than 270 days whereas law required a new licence to be issued in 120 days, delaying commencement certificates without any reasons, delaying hearing and decision of appeals that were required as per law to be decided in 30 days to impair the business of the company.
The petition said PTA issued a notice to Nayatel on Jan 20, 2022, warning of action when its CEO raised issues relating to the industry and discriminatory treatment by PTA to other operators vis-a-vis SCO at a national broadband forum held in Islamabad on Nov 10, 2021, in which President Arif Alvi was the chief guest.
The issue of free wireless spectrum allocation to the SCO for cellular mobile services was also raised.
Justice Aamer Farooq issued notices to the PTA, Cabinet Division and the ministry.
According to the petition, there existed an alleged conflict of interest between PTA Chairman retired Major General Aamir Azeem Bajwa and the SCO as the former remained the director general of the SCO for two years prior to his retirement and induction in Jan 2019 by the previous government as the PTA chairman.
Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2022