Recently, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority announced that Pakistan will “temporarily” ban PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile because of claims that the popular battle-royale game does more damage than good. PTA stated that the game is “addictive, wastage of time and poses a serious negative impact on the physical and psychological health of the children.” PUBG has been cited as one of the reasons for suicide in Pakistan, with one recent suicide incident being noted as a complaint to further push for a ban.

PUBG Mobile banned in Pakistan.
PUBG Mobile banned in Pakistan.

Image credits to PUBG.

The main reason for Pakistan’s PUBG ban is a suicide incident. Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported the incident on June 24. A sixteen-year-old boy named Mohammad Zakarya committed suicide in Lahore, Pakistan because he missed a mission in PUBG Mobile. Mohammad was found with his mobile phone nearby, which leads forensic teams to believe that this missed mission is the reason behind his death. Pakistan’s ban follows multiple other bans in Asia, including Jordan, Iraq, Nepal, the Indian state of Gujarat, and the Indonesian province of Aceh.

However, the Pakistan government seeks feedback about their decision after the movement drew significant attention online. “The Authority also decided to solicit views of the public with reference to the said online game,” said PTA. “In this regard, public is encouraged to provide feedback…” The Pakistan PUBG community has been in an uproar over the recent ban, with many calling the decision unfair and uneducated. Besides the games’ digital community, many other individuals state that a game is not a reason for suicide. Instead, mental health issues are the real factors that push an individual to such lengths.

Overall, Pakistan’s decision to ban PUBG Mobile comes from good intentions. But with the recent uproar over the poorly executed motion, things may change. Since PTA currently accepts feedback about the ban, the motion receives enough forms against it, the ban may be lifted. PUBG fans must wait and see what PTA rules next.

Individuals going through mental health issues in Pakistan can dial +92 317 4288 665 for help. Umang provides Pakistan’s first 24/7 mental health helpline run by clinical psychologists, therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists. Umang operates free of cost for individuals calling in to require professional help.

Written by Jay Hunter

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