Islamabad (PR) - The PTA clarified that its proposed technical system is aimed at checking and curbing grey traffic coming into Pakistan bypassing legal channels and causing loses to the licensed telecom operators and the government. The clarification came in response to an editorial published in national daily on the issue. The purpose and scope of under referenced system is not the one stated in the said editorial i.e. Surveillance of the citizen. It would only provide checks against the illegal telecom traffic transported in the country through grey channels hence drawing any conclusion that it would have any impact on freedom of people is incorrect, the authority said.

Checking and taking measures to contain illegal telecom activity including flows of grey traffic is legal mandate of PTA. This, in no way, is monitoring of citizens’ communications, it said.

In addition, it added, the proposed system will also help block internet content which is blasphemous, pornographic, hatredand anti-state.  The technical solution to help in blocking would also be strictly according to the mandate and legal provisions such as Article 19 of Constitution of Pakistan, PECA 2016 and Telecom Re-organization Act 1996, it further said. Lastly, it may be added that PTA has enabled digital revolution in Pakistan by creating conducive regulatory environments owing to which the telecom sector has been transformed during the past decade and it has been recognized at different national as well as international forums, it concluded.